Steady Consumer Comfort Signals Sustained Economic Growth

Ty Wright/Bloomberg News

Americans’ confidence hovered near a decade high last week, indicating consumers remain upbeat about the U.S. economic outlook, Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index figures showed June 15.

Highlights of Consumer Comfort Report

• Overall comfort measure little changed at 50 from prior week’s 49.9.

• Gauge of national economy jumped to six-week high of 46.3.



• Index of buying climate improved to 44.3 from 44.1.

Key Takeaways

Consumers’ positive outlook on the economy is in sync with other reports showing growth is picking up this quarter after a weak start to 2017.

Elevated sentiment, unemployment at a 16-year low, higher stock prices and rising home equity are a firm foundation for more household spending, which accounts for about 70% of the economy.

A pickup in wages would help boost Americans’ views of their finances, especially among those at the lower end of the income ladder. The comfort gauge for those making under $50,000 a year has fallen in seven of the past eight weeks.

Other Details

• Index of personal finances declined to a five-week low of 59.6 from 60.4.

• Comfort rose among Americans in West and Midwest.

• Sentiment climbed among part-time workers and renters.

• Gap between Republicans and Democrats is smallest since March.

 

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