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U.S. Consumer Comfort Rises to 19-Year High on Views of Economy

US Consumer Comfort Rises to 19-Year High on Views of Economy

Jan. 9, 2020
Survey shows Americans are feeling upbeat amid cooling U.S. trade tensions with China, record stock prices, and the lowest unemployment in a half-century.

Confidence among Americans surged to the best level since October 2000 on brighter views of the economy and finances, adding to signs that consumers will continue to underpin a record-long expansion.

Bloomberg’s index of consumer comfort rose 1.2 points to 65.1 in the week ended Jan. 5, according to a report on Jan. 9.

All three components improved for a third week, led by the state of the economy measure rising 1.4 points to a nearly 19-year high of 69.7. The readings for personal finances and the buying climate both added at least 1 point.

Key Insights

  • The comfort index’s seventh advance in eight weeks demonstrates how upbeat Americans are feeling amid cooling U.S. trade tensions with China, record stock prices, and the lowest unemployment in a half-century.
  • The composition of the survey showed that the trend toward improvement has been broad-based, with measures for women, ages 45-54, college graduates, homeowners and white Americans all at the highest levels since 2000. The category for married consumers rose to a record 74.3.
  • The main consumer comfort gauge has climbed 4 points in three weeks, the best such pace since October 2015. The advance extends its steady rebound from a nine-month low of 58 in November.
  • Other measures of the consumer’s mood were mixed in December, with the University of Michigan index at a seven-month high and the Conference Board’s gauge down a fourth time in five months.

By Jeff Kearns

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