Uncomfortable: US consumer comfort index tumbles amid COVID surge

Americans’ assessments of the national economy, buying climate and their personal finances all worsened.

Americans’ pessimism about the economy and their financial situation continued as lawmakers dragged their feet on another fresh round of stimulus [File: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg]

A gauge of U.S. consumer sentiment dropped last week to a four-month low as Americans grew more pessimistic about the state of the national economy and the resurgence of Covid-19 cases.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell 2.4 points in the week that included Christmas to 44.6, the lowest since the period ended Aug. 23, data released Thursday showed. The sentiment measure is now only a third of the way back from its pre-pandemic level.

Americans’ assessments of the national economy, buying climate and their personal finances all worsened. The report comes against a backdrop of surging Covid-19 cases and renewed lockdown restrictions.

Americans’ pessimism about the economy and their financial situation continued as lawmakers dragged their feet on another fresh round of stimulus. A $900 billion pandemic-relief bill, passed by Congress on Dec. 21, wasn’t signed into law by President Donald Trump until Dec. 27.

Matching its low since early July, the sentiment index for the national economy fell by 3 points to 34, the third straight weekly decline. The gauge has fallen 6.5 points in the last two weeks, the most since April and reflecting pessimism among Republicans.

The measure of attitudes about personal finances fell to a four-month low of 58.8 from 61.2. Views of the buying climate also deteriorated last week.

Source: Bloomberg

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