Americans' Comfort Rises on Strongest View of Finances in Decade
Americans are the most upbeat about their finances in a decade, which will probably help consumer spending contribute more to the U.S. economy in the second quarter, Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index figures showed June 1.
Highlights of Consumer Comfort
• Overall gauge jumped to 51.2, second-strongest reading since 2001, from 50.9.
• Measure of personal finances rose to 63, highest since May 2007.
• Sentiment about national economy rose for the first time in five weeks to 44.2.
Stocks near a record high, sustained strength in the labor market and steadily rising wages are making Americans feel better about their financial well-being and the economy. Homeowners are also encouraged by rising property values as the housing market improves.
Overall, the sunnier outlook bodes well for consumer spending, suggesting that the largest part of the economy could contribute more to second-quarter growth after outlays cooled in the first three months of the year.
• The confidence of Americans earning at least $100,000 is the second-highest in data going back to 2004.
• Sentiment in the West increased to a three-month high, and also rose in the Midwest and the South; it decreased in the Northeast from a 10-year high.
• Comfort continues to be divided along party lines, with measure of sentiment among Republicans outpacing that of Democrats and political independents.
• Sentiment among unemployed respondents was at its second-strongest since 2007.