February 8, 2018 3:30 PM, EST

Consumer Comfort Stays Elevated Even as Stocks Fall

Scott McIntyre/Bloomberg News

U.S. consumer comfort last week held near the highest level since 2001 even as stocks fell on concerns about higher interest rates, the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index showed Feb. 8.

Highlights of Consumer Comfort for the Week Ended Feb. 4

• Weekly comfort index eased to 54.4 from 54.6 .

• Measure tracking current views of the economy held at 57.8, highest since 2001.

• Gauge of personal finances cooled to 59.7 from 59.9.

• Views on the buying climate fell slightly to 45.5 from 46.1.

Key Takeaways

The results suggest that it would take a more sustained sell-off in the stock market to a make dent in consumer sentiment.

RELATED: Jobless claims decline, approach an almost 45-year low

The latest poll was completed Feb. 4, following last week’s 4% decline in the Dow Jones Industrial Average — the biggest drop since early 2016 — but before a 4.6% rout on Feb. 5.

The Labor Department’s employment report Feb. 2, whose data on unexpectedly strong wages spurred concern about rising interest rates, also showed how solid hiring and pay will continue to buttress consumer confidence and spending.

Other Details

• Comfort among Americans ages 18 to 34 fell to a 13-month low, while for men it’s the highest since 2001.

• Sentiment among those in the top income group was the strongest in data back to June 2004.

• Gender gap in comfort level widened.

• The index was highest among Americans in the Midwest and Northeast.

• CCI is reported in a four-week rolling average.