Consumer comfort climbs out of two-month hole

New York -- A report released Thursday by Bloomberg said that consumer sentiment climbed during the week ended June 16 to minus 29.4, compared with minus 31.3 a week earlier and representing a lift after a two-month low. In fact, according to the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index, Americans’ views on the economy were the least pessimistic in five years.

The monthly Bloomberg consumer economic expectations gauge for June held at minus 1, matching May’s reading as the best this year.

“The sustained appreciation of home prices in many areas of the country has likely bolstered the confidence of many Americans that a gradual rebuilding of wealth is under way,” said Joseph Brusuelas, senior economist at Bloomberg LP in New York.

All three components of the comfort index improved last week. The measure of how Americans view the current state of the economy climbed to minus 51.2, the highest since January 2008, from minus 52.5.
More consumers said the time was right to purchase things. A measure of the buying climate rose to minus 40.7 from minus 42.1 a week earlier. A gauge of Americans’ views on personal finances rose to 3.8 from 0.6, marking the 10th consecutive positive reading.

Consumer purchases in May climbed 0.6%, the biggest gain in three months, following a 0.1% advance in April, Commerce Department figures showed last week.