Six-Week Low In US Consumer Comfort Shows Optimism Is Easing
An easing of Americans’ sunny economic views indicates consumers may need some better news for confidence to sustain its post-election pickup, Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index figures showed Thursday.
The weekly comfort measure declined to 49.7, a six-week low, from 50.9, the study found. The national economy index dropped to 45.5, the biggest decline since Nov. 2015, from 48.3.
While consumer comfort remains near a 15-year high, Americans were a bit rattled about the prospects for the U.S. economy in the latest week, amid a recent report that first-quarter growth was the weakest in three years.
The widespread easing in the comfort gauge across demographic groups could also be a sign that consumers are less optimistic that the Trump administration and Congress will enact policies to boost growth. Still, the index is on a healthy run, remaining above 49 for 11 straight weeks -- the longest such streak since September 2001.
Americans with incomes between $40,000 and $100,000 registered declines in comfort. Consumers in all four regions were more pessimistic, with comfort in the South dropping to the lowest since mid-February.