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American Consumer Comfort Remains Close to a 17-Year High

Shoppers In SoHo Ahead Of Consumer Comfort Figures
Photographer: Sarah Blesener/Bloomberg

U.S. consumer sentiment held near a 17-year high last week as households grew more upbeat about their finances despite a sell-off in equities tied to concerns about a trade war, the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index showed Thursday.

For the past six weeks, the gauge of comfort has been within 0.8 point of its highest level since February 2001. While stock-market volatility may be leaving consumers a bit less upbeat about the state of the economy, a solid job market and bigger after-tax incomes are boosting sentiment about personal finances. Respondents with incomes of less than $50,000 a year were more upbeat than the prior week, while comfort fell for a sixth week among those earning more than $100,000, an indication that weaker stock prices are taking a toll on confidence of wealthier Americans.