Americans’ confidence retreated for a second week as consumers’ assessment of the buying climate deteriorated on the heels of higher fuel prices, Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index figures showed Thursday.
HIGHLIGHTS OF CONSUMER COMFORT (WEEK ENDED SEPT. 10)
Main index fell to five-week low of 51.9 from 52.6
Index of buying climate declined to 42.5, a six-week low, from 44.1
Gauge of views on the economy eased to 53.2 from 53.9
Measure of comfort about personal finances held at 59.9
The gauge of whether it’s a good time to make purchases has fallen 3.6 points in the last two weeks, the largest decrease over a similar period since 2015 and reflecting a jump in gasoline prices since Hurricane Harvey struck Texas. Even so, strong job growth is helping Americans remain relatively upbeat about their finances as well as the economy. The comfort index remains close to the 16-year high reached two weeks ago and suggests consumer spending will stay resilient.
Comfort index fell among most income groups, including to an eight-week low among those making from $15,000 to $24,900
Index declined in three of four regions; rose in the West
Measure advanced among part-time workers to 53.9, the highest since 2006, from 49.9
Sentiment gap narrowed between Republicans and Democrats for the first time in five weeks