American Consumers' Economic Expectations Strongest Since 2001

Consumer confidence rebounded last week as Americans became the most upbeat about the economy since 2001, Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index figures showed Thursday.

Key Points

  • Weekly comfort measure advanced to 50.8 in period ended April 23, exceeding the 2017 average, from 49.9 the prior week
  • Sentiment about national economy rose to 49.6, the highest since August 2001, from 48
  • Personal finances gauge increased to 59.7 from 58.8
  • Buying-climate measure was little changed at 43 after 42.9

Big Picture

Resilient job growth, higher stock prices and income gains are keeping Americans upbeat about the economy. Nonetheless, views remain colored by politics, as sentiment among Republican respondents rose to the highest since 2007, indicating future increases could depend on whether President Donald Trump and Congress are successful in passing legislation such as tax cuts. A caveat to the increase in optimism since the November elections is that household spending probably slowed in the first quarter and took the economy along with it, according to analysts’ estimates ahead of Friday’s initial reading of gross domestic product.

The Details

  • The comfort measure for those age 65 and older rose to the highest in 10 years
  • Sentiment in the Northeast was the strongest since 2007, and picked up in the Midwest and the West
  • The comfort index for Republicans rose the highest level since the end of 2007; sentiment also increased among Democrats and decreased among political independents
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