U.S. Economic Expectations Sour in October; Weekly Comfort RisesBy
Americans grew more pessimistic this month about the direction of the economy, though a measure of consumer sentiment rose in the most recent week, Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index figures showed Thursday.
Highlights of Consumer Comfort (Week Ended Oct. 15)
The drop in the monthly economic gauge may reflect lingering effects of Hurricane Harvey, which interrupted Texas refinery output and led to higher gas prices that remain above pre-storm levels even after recent declines. The report showed 29 percent of respondents said the economy was getting better in October, down from 31 percent in the previous month. At the same time, falling gas prices -- along with gains in equities and a post-storm economic rebound -- could also be supporting the weekly rise in consumer comfort, which is still below a 16-year high reached in August.
- Confidence rose in all four U.S. regions
- Comfort among respondents with household incomes below $50,000 rose to highest in data going back to late 2010
- Sentiment among people with only a high school diploma advanced to highest level since March
- Partisan gap between Democrats and Republicans widened for a third week, favoring Republicans by 18.8 points