January 20, 2020
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US consumer comfort hits nine-week high on economic optimism

Bebeto Matthews | AP
Bebeto Matthews | AP
A shopper carries a crockpot during Target's Black Friday sale in the Borough of New York in this Nov. 29, 2019, file photo.

Confidence among U.S. consumers advanced to a nine-week high on greater optimism about the economy and brighter views of personal finances and the buying climate.

Bloomberg’s index of consumer comfort increased to 62.3 in the week ended Dec. 22 from 61.1, according to data released Thursday. A measure of confidence in the economy climbed to the highest since the end of July, while the personal finances gauge also was the strongest in nine weeks.

Record stock prices, unemployment at a five-decade low and steady wage gains continue to lift spirits, putting the 2019 average sentiment level on track for the best since the 1999-2000 dot-com boom. Combined with elevated sentiment, this backdrop helps explain the economy’s resilience in the face of business-investment cutbacks and global demand concerns.

The figures also show resolve among many Americans after the House voted to impeach President Donald Trump. Sentiment among Republicans, who have taken a more positive economic view since Trump’s election, increased to the highest level since mid-September while comfort among Democrats was the strongest since mid-October.

 



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