Consumer Comfort in U.S. Improves on Optimism About Economy

Consumer confidence improved last week as Americans felt the most optimistic about the U.S. economy since early last year, figures from the weekly Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index showed Thursday.

Key Points

  • Comfort gauge advanced to 45.1 in week ended Dec. 4 from 44.9
  • Measure of economy rose by 1 point to 38.8, the highest since April 2015
  • Personal finances index dropped to six-week low of 56.9 from 57.6
  • Buying-climate gauge improved to 39.6, the highest in three months, from 39.3

Big Picture

Improved attitudes about spending and the state of the economy are good news for retailers as consumers make progress on their holiday-shopping lists. The report’s measure of sentiment among full-time workers climbed to an almost four-month high, corroborating recent employment figures showing resilient job growth that has laid the foundation for solid household purchases.

The Details

  • Confidence of those with a college degree rose to a nine-year high
  • Comfort among homeowners is highest since April of last year
  • Republicans’ sentiment is strongest since June; fell among Democrats and political independents
  • Sentiment dropped in every region except the Midwest, where it increased to the highest since February
  • Confidence among those earning more than $100,000 jumped to highest since April 2015
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