The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index’s monthly expectations gauge rose to 54.5 from a two-year low of 44.5 as more respondents said the economy is improving, according to the Feb 5-17 survey released Thursday. Meanwhile, the weekly comfort measure edged down slightly as views on personal finances dimmed somewhat.
The first rise in expectations since October follows the Jan 25 end of the five-week shutdown and a rally for stocks after they posted the worst December in 86 years.
The rebound in the monthly gauge is similar to the recovery after a previous shutdown in October 2013, which was followed by four straight months of sentiment gains.
Meanwhile, the University of Michigan’s preliminary survey of consumer sentiment in February showed a better-than-expected improvement in the index was concentrated in the outlook. The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index is forecast to rebound this month, after slumping in January to the weakest since July 2017.
The weekly survey showed a narrower gap between top and bottom income brackets. The comfort gauge for Americans with household incomes of US$100,000 or more fell to a two-year low, while measures for those making less than US$15,000 and those in the US$25,000 to US$40,000 range both advanced to the highest readings since 2000. The comfort gauge for full-time workers rose to the highest in almost three months.