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U.S. Consumer Comfort Stays High in Positive Sign for Economy

Shoppers in the Menlo Park Mall in Edison, New Jersey.
Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

Americans’ confidence was little changed last week from elevated levels, underpinned by optimism about the buying climate and the economy, Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index figures showed Thursday.

The comfort index has advanced about six points since the start of the year and is also running above its 2017 average. Steady hiring, stock-market gains, home-price appreciation and contained inflation are helping to keep the measure in a range close to its 16-year high of 53.3, reached in August. The results are encouraging for consumer spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of the economy and has played a leading role in boosting growth this year.