Photographer: Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg

American Consumer Comfort Closes In on Best Year Since 2007

Household confidence in the U.S. is closing in on its best year since before the last recession, according to figures in the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index released Thursday.

Key Points

  • Comfort measure cooled to 46 in period ended Dec. 25, the first retreat in five weeks, from 46.7 
  • The gauge in the prior week was the strongest since April 2015
  • Gauge of national economy eased to 41.2 from 42.1
  • Personal finances measure fell to 56, lowest since mid-October, from 56.8
  • Buying-climate index little changed at 40.9 after 41.1

Big Picture

While leveling out during the week that included the Christmas holiday, the comfort gauge is in line with other measures of confidence that have been surging since President-elect Donald Trump’s victory in November. Republicans, higher-income individuals, homeowners and full-time workers have been especially optimistic. Expectations are high that Trump will deliver on promises to boost jobs, wages and growth and ease taxes and regulatory burdens. Further gains in sentiment will depend in part on how Americans judge the new administration is measuring up against those pledges, and helping to keep the economy churning more than seven years after the end of the last recession.

The Details

  • Comfort gauge of Republicans last week rose to 49, highest since March 2008, from 48.6
  • Americans earning more than $100,000 registered views that were still close to the brightest in 10 years
  • Sentiment among homeowners eased from prior week’s reading, which was the strongest since February 2007
  • Full-time employees remained close to brightest views since April 2015
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