Con­sumer com­fort gauge at 16-year high

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - BUSINESS & FARM - — Bloomberg News

Amer­i­cans last week reg­is­tered their strong­est op­ti­mism in 16 years on more up­beat views about the state of the econ­omy, their per­sonal fi­nances and the buy­ing at­mos­phere, ac­cord­ing to Bloomberg Con­sumer Com­fort data re­leased Thurs­day.

The weekly con­sumer com­fort mea­sure jumped to 51.4, high­est since the week end­ing Aug. 19, 2001, from 49.6, and the in­dex of cur­rent views on the econ­omy rose to 51, also a 16-year high, from 48.6. The per­sonal fi­nances gauge in­creased to an eight-week high of 58.9 from 58.

Con­sumers had rea­son to feel up­beat last week with stocks again reach­ing all-time highs and as last Friday’s re­port on July em­ploy­ment con­firmed that the strong la­bor mar­ket re­mains in­tact.

Record-high job va­can­cies help ex­plain why low­er­in­come Amer­i­cans and the un­em­ployed are more pos­i­tive about their prospects. The lat­ter group hasn’t been this op­ti­mistic since be­fore the last re­ces­sion. While the ro­bust job mar­ket is off­set­ting the dis­ap­point­ment tied to lack of progress in Wash­ing­ton on health care and tax over­haul mea­sures, geopo­lit­i­cal tensions re­lated to North Korea rep­re­sent a risk to con­sumer op­ti­mism.

All four re­gions ad­vanced, with sen­ti­ment in the South at its strong­est since early April and com­fort in the West at its high­est since Fe­bru­ary.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.