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February 2, 2017 10:10 AM, EST

Consumer Comfort Increases on Optimism About Economy

David Paul Morris/Bloomberg News

American consumer sentiment climbed last week as views on the economy matched the highest level since 2007, according to figures in the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index released Feb 2.

Key Points

• Consumer comfort index rose to 46.6 in the period ended Jan. 29, the second-best reading since April 2015, from 45.2.

• Measure of the economy increased 1.8 points to 42.3, matching a high reached in January 2015 that was the strongest since July 2007.

• Buying climate index jumped to 42.4, matching the highest level since April 2015, from 39.8.

• Personal finances gauge eased to a more than three-month low of 55.1 from 55.3.

Big Picture

Confidence in the American economy remains intact as the new Republican-controlled Congress prepares to take on issues like taxes and infrastructure spending, which could inject billions of dollars into the U.S. economy. Increased optimism and favorable views of the buying climate have the potential of spurring purchases even as consumers’ opinions of their finances continue to cool.

The Details

• Comfort among part-time workers and the unemployed increased last week to the highest levels since November.

• Optimism was the highest since 2015 among married Americans, high school graduates and those living in the western United States.

• Sentiment rose last week in all but one income group and increased in all four U.S. regions.

• Confidence remained higher among respondents who are Democrat than for Republicans, though the gap narrowed last week