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U.S. Consumer Comfort Nears 17-Year High as Economic View Gains

Bloomberg logoBloomberg 7/5/2018 Scott Lanman
Shoppers walk through the Menlo Park Mall in Edison, New Jersey, U.S., on Friday, Nov. 25, 2016. As Black Friday ushers in the year-end shopping rush, chains are touting larger price cuts than in 2015 -- a gamble that maintaining market share is worth squeezing margins.: Shoppers Inside The Menlo Park Mall On Black Friday© Bloomberg Shoppers Inside The Menlo Park Mall On Black Friday

(Bloomberg) -- Americans’ sentiment approached a 17-year high last week on increasingly upbeat views of the economy and personal finances, the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index showed Thursday.

Highlights of Consumer Comfort (Week Ended July 1)

Weekly index increased to 57.6, the fourth straight advance, from 57.3; best reading since 58.1 in April, which was highest since February 2001Gauge tracking current views of the economy advanced to 59.4, the highest since mid-March, from 58Gauge of personal finances at 64 after 63.9; measure of buying climate slipped to 49.4 from 49.9

Key Takeaways

Americans’ views of the economy have been bolstered by an unemployment rate matching the lowest since 1969 and tax cuts that have fattened wallets, along with fuel prices that have cooled from a three-year high in May. Sentiment was divided along income lines; among respondents earning more than $100,000, the index was the highest in data back to 2004, while it fell to a three-month low for those with incomes below $15,000.

Meanwhile, another survey of consumer confidence from the University of Michigan has indicated that concerns over trade policy are weighing on expectations for the economy, even as Americans remain happy with current conditions and their finances.

Other Details

Sentiment advanced in Northeast, Midwest and South; fell in WestIndex rose among Republicans and independents, fell for Democrats Comfort among married respondents rose to highest since November 2000

To contact the reporter on this story: Scott Lanman in Washington at slanman@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Scott Lanman at slanman@bloomberg.net, Jeff Kearns, Vince Golle

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

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