Photographer: Craig Warga/Bloomberg
U.S. Consumer Comfort Rises to Highest in Almost 17 YearsBy
Americans’ confidence began 2018 by rising to an almost 17-year high on greater optimism about the U.S. economy and buying climate, according to the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index released Thursday.
Highlights of Consumer Comfort (Week Ended Jan. 7)
The improvement in sentiment at the start of the new year shows Americans are optimistic about economic conditions as unemployment remains at the lowest since 2000 and stocks continue to rally. Subtle inflation has also contributed to upbeat attitudes about the retail environment, which could continue to stimulate consumer spending after a robust holiday-shopping season.
- Gaps in confidence by income remain large, with an index of comfort among those in the $100,000-plus income bracket exceeding sentiment among those earning less than $50,000 by about 36 points
- Comfort among Democrats surged to the highest since August, while Republicans’ sentiment was the strongest since May 2007
- Comfort gauge of consumers in the Northeast was the highest of all regions and at an almost 17-year high
- Homeowners, men and senior Americans were more upbeat than at any time in almost 17 years