Consumer confidence, including views about the U.S. economy, advanced again last week to a 16-year high, indicating spending will remain solid, according to Bloomberg Consumer Comfort data released Aug. 24.
Highlights of Consumer Comfort for the Week Ended Aug. 20
• Weekly consumer comfort gauge climbed to 52.8, the sixth straight advance and the highest since August 2001, from 52.1.
• Measure of current views of economy rose to 53.2, highest since April 2001, from 51.3.
• Index of buying climate increased to 46, the strongest since late May, from 45.4.
• Personal finances gauge eased to 59 from a 10-week high of 59.7.
A robust labor market, steady wage growth and limited price pressures are making consumers more upbeat about buying conditions. The sixth straight weekly advance — the longest streak since the period ended Jan. 10, 2016 — is consistent with forecasts that household spending will continue to fuel the economy in the second half of the year.
Aside from pessimism among Democratic voters, the report also shows little impact from domestic worries related to recent violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, or geopolitical concerns related to North Korea nuclear threats.
• Sentiment among those earning $100,000 or more rose to the highest since March on the heels of elevated equity markets.
• Comfort advanced in the Northeast to the highest since March 2007 and rose in the West.
• Confidence among Republicans rose to an almost 10-year high, while comfort of political independents was strongest in more than 16 years.
• Among married people, weekly sentiment reached the highest level since March 2001.