News

Consumer Confidence Still Ticking Upward

The consumer is still chugging along, with undiminished appetite for goods and services, at least in the United States, according to the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index.

The newswire reported Thursday (Jan. 7) that the eponymous index has logged a new three-month high, with support coming from what it said were “improving household attitudes about the state of the economy.” The latest reading at 44.2 came as of Jan. 3 for the week that ended that day, and that tally is up from 43.6 from the prior period. Bloomberg said that that was the fifth consecutive increase and clears heights last seen in Oct. 2015.

[bctt tweet=”Bloomberg said that that was the fifth consecutive increase and clears heights last seen in Oct. 2015.”]

Consumer views on the state of the economy, as measured by the index, came in at 37, which stood at the highest levels seen since April of last year, and represented a jump up from 34.5. Similarly, views of personal finances had a strong showing at 56.2, up consecutively from 55.6.

Sentiment moved higher on sanguine mindsets seen in the Northeast and the Midwestern parts of the U.S., while confidence remained stable in the South and, conversely, was down in the West to a nearly two-month low.

By income level, households in the country with income of at least $50,000 annually stood at the highest levels since 2007, which, of course, stretches back to before the Great Recession. Continued strengthening in the overall labor market, where consensus estimates held gains of 200,000 workers estimated for last month, indicating total hiring of about 2.5 million people in all of last year.

Separate measures dovetailed with the Bloomberg consumer comfort reading, as the University of Michigan’s own gauge showed that sentiment was up to a high not seen in five months, as low prices at the pump and elsewhere gave a boost to incomes (read: buying power), which spurs buying of larger ticket items that would include cars and other durable goods, such as appliances. 

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