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Consumer comfort in U.S. climbs to highest since early April

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(Bloomberg) — Household confidence has increased for a second week, reaching the highest level since early April as Americans felt better about the economy and the buying climate, according to the weekly Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index released today.

Key Points

Consumer comfort gauge rose to 43.5 in the period ended June 5 from 43.2 the prior week. Measure of views on the economy climbed to a six-week high of 32.9 from 32.2 Index of personal finances was little changed at 57.4, a more than two-month high, from 57.3  Gauge of the buying climate, showing whether this is a good time to purchase goods and services, advanced to 40.3, the strongest reading since week ended Feb. 21, from 40.1 

Big Picture

The comfort gauge, while stuck in a narrow range since March, is having its best year on average since 2007. Better moods bode well for consumer spending, the biggest part of the economy, which is projected to help revive economic growth this quarter after a weak start to the year. At the same time, the index hasn’t gained meaningfully this year, and the job market may be playing a role. Employment gains slowed in May, while the jobless rate fell as more people dropped out of the labor force.

The Details

Comfort index rose for a fourth straight week among Americans with full-time jobs, and slipped for part-time workers from the highest level since October Sentiment among people earning more than $50,000 climbed for a fifth week Confidence among political independents increased to its highest level since January; it climbed for Democrats and fell for Republicans Comfort was at a four-month high among homeowners and a five-month low for renters

 See also: U.S. consumer confidence unexpectedly hits a 4-month low