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Consumer Sentiment Held in its Recovery Zone this Week
Monday, July 22, 2013 5:50 AM

Bloomberg Index
Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index

At minus 28.4 on its scale of minus 100 to plus 100, the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index has hung on to the minus 20s for 12 of the past 14 weeks. Consumer’s comfort level with the economy has been negative since July 2007 when the environment soured.

Views on whether the economy is getting better or worse show notable changes since last November, when 37 percent said it was improving, a nearly 11-year high. Since then, "getting better" sentiment has dropped disproportionately among some groups – down by 20 points among part-time workers; those who are separated, widowed or divorced; and Westerners; and down by 14 points among young adults and Northeasterners.

A separate, forward-looking measure brings some cause for concern. Economic expectations are more negative than positive. Just 28 percent say the economy is getting better, the fewest since September 2012 and down 9 points from November 2012, while 33 percent say it is getting worse.

In terms of the CCI's individual gauges:

  • Comfort with the economy: minus 55.3
  • Comfort with buying: minus 33.5
  • Comfort with personal finances: plus 3.6                    

Among groups, the Bloomberg Index is struggling particularly among less well-off Americans, with a growing income gap.

  • Earning less than $15,000 annually: minus 69.2
  • Highest income-earners (those making $100,000 or more annually): plus 14.9

(Source: Bloomberg News, 18 July 2013)