Photographer: Matthew Busch/Bloomberg

Post-Election Rally Fades for Americans' Economic Expectations

This month’s slide in Americans’ economic expectations to the lowest level since November indicates the euphoria about U.S. growth prospects since the election has diminished, Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index figures showed Thursday.

Highlights of Bloomberg Consumer Comfort
  • Monthly measure of economic expectations fell to 49.5 in May from 53.5 in April
  • Weekly comfort measure little changed at 50.2 in period ended May 14, still above the 12-month average, after 49.7 the prior week
  • Gauge of personal finances rose last week to 60.6, highest since January 2015

Key Takeaways

Fewer respondents in the monthly measure said conditions are improving, and while the weekly comfort gauge is holding up at a high level, confidence has probably peaked over the near term. Both indexes indicate Americans are growing skeptical that President Donald Trump and Congress will quickly deliver on a legislative agenda that includes growth-boosting tax cuts and infrastructure investment. At the same time, improving views of personal finances and a steady buying-climate rating will support consumer spending after weakness in the first quarter.

Other Details

  • Weekly index of sentiment about the current state of the national economy was little changed at 45.3 after 45.5
  • Buying climate measure at 44.8 following 44.3 the prior week
  • Comfort index for Republicans reached an almost 10-year high of 63.1, and was little changed for Democrats
  • Sentiment gauge for Americans earning less than $50,000 a year fell to 32.8, the lowest since February, while it was little changed for those who earn more than $100,000
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