Consumer Comfort in U.S. Increases to Highest Since October

  • Jump in views about personal finances is biggest since March
  • Sentiment among lowest-income earners rises to six-month high

Consumer confidence climbed last week to the highest level since October on more optimism about household finances, as steady job gains, low borrowing costs and a rally in financial markets overshadowed the uncertainty caused by Britain’s vote to leave the European Union.

Key Points

  • Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index advanced to 44.7 in the week ended July 10 from 43.5
  • The personal finances gauge climbed to 59.1 from 56.9, the biggest weekly jump since March
  • Buying-climate measure increased to 41.3, the highest since February, from 40.6

Big Picture

In the wake of the Brexit vote, Americans are benefiting as borrowing costs head lower and U.S. stocks soar to all-time highs on speculation that central banks around the world will hold the line on interest rates or even loosen monetary policy further. At the same time, data last week showed the U.S. job creation rebounded in June, reassuring policy makers that the recovery remains on track after a soft patch earlier this year.

The Details

  • Comfort index rose in four of seven income brackets. Americans making less than $15,000 a year posted the biggest gain, with sentiment rising to the highest level since January
  • Sentiment improved in all regions but the South. In the Northeast, the confidence measure rose to 42.4 from 35.6, the biggest one-week gain in more than a decade
  • The confidence index for Americans who aren’t employed rose to the highest level since May
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