Consumer Comfort Up Modestly … Still Hovering At Annual Lows

RETAILERS LOOKING FOR RAY OF HOPE THIS HOLIDAY SEASON …  The good news? Consumer comfort posted a modest uptick this week … The bad news? It’s still hovering at its lowest levels of the year … “Consumer sentiment stabilized but failed to recover from its recent losses,”  the tabulators of…


The good news? Consumer comfort posted a modest uptick this week …

The bad news? It’s still hovering at its lowest levels of the year …

“Consumer sentiment stabilized but failed to recover from its recent losses,”  the tabulators of the latest installment of Bloomberg’s Consumer Comfort Index (.pdf here) noted.

The CCI -which measures consumer comfort on a scale of zero to 100 – stood at 40.1 last week.  That’s up modestly from the previous week’s 39.6 reading, but well off its post-recession peak of 47.9, reached back in April.

Compilers of the index also observed that Americans’ ratings of their personal finances were at their lowest point since mid-August.

Take a look …


What’s driving this pessimism?

“Labor force participation is near a 38-year low, wages remain stagnant and consumer spending is weak,” the analysts concluded.

Indeed … not the sort of environment retailers are looking for as the 2015 holiday shopping season enters its homestretch.

Compiled weekly since December 1985, the CCI is based on 1,000 national random-sample landline and cellular telephone interviews, 250 per week (in a four-week rolling average).  Its record high of 69 was reached on January 16, 2000.  Its record low of 23 has been recorded on four separate occasions – most recently June 21, 2009.


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Stickler Vertango December 10, 2015 at 1:24 pm

Bible Thumper asked Will for this report this morning.Where is Bible Thumper? The news is NOT good.

Rocky Verdad December 10, 2015 at 1:50 pm

It’s actually just fine.

Stickler Vertango December 10, 2015 at 2:22 pm

This is LAST weeks.You couldn’t do any worse:
Dec 3,2015
Consumer confidence fell last week to a one-year low as households’ views on the U.S. buying climate deteriorated by the most since December 2011.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index dropped to 39.6 in the week ended Nov. 29 from 40.9 in the prior period. The decline was the sixth in the last seven weeks and reflected a 2.8 point drop in the measure of whether now is a good or bad time to shop.

The decline is “a troubling sign for the critical holiday-shopping season just under way,” said Gary Langer, president of New York-based Langer Research Associates LLC, which conducts the survey for Bloomberg. Consumers were polled during Thanksgiving week, the traditional start of holiday spending in the U.S., meaning the pickup in pessimism “couldn’t come at a worse time of year.”

The buying climate measure fell to 34.5 last week from 37.3, while a gauge of consumers’ views on personal finances decreased to 53.7, the lowest level since mid-August, from 54.8. The index tracking attitudes about the economy was little changed.

The Bloomberg measure of consumer comfort corroborates the latest index from the University of Michigan, which showed confidence flagged toward the end of November. The group’s final reading of 91.3 for the month was lower than the preliminary print of 93.1. It still showed a gain from 90 in October.

The Bloomberg gauge has dropped 5.6 points since a mid-October reading of 45.2, which was the highest since April.

Rocky Verdad December 10, 2015 at 2:43 pm

A one year low – OMG – the sky is falling. Get back to me when it hits 2008 levels.

George W. Bush December 10, 2015 at 5:11 pm

No way, I can’t have Obama beating my record lows!

Bible Thumper December 10, 2015 at 2:15 pm

It was an uptick from last week.

Stickler Vertango December 10, 2015 at 2:22 pm

No F this week.D-.

Rocky Verdad December 10, 2015 at 1:49 pm

This is about the lamest attempt yet Will.

Bloomberg’s take – since it’s their index – today at 9:45 a.m.

Consumer confidence stabilized last week after faltering since mid-October as Americans’ perceptions about the U.S. economy and the buying climate improved.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index was little changed at 40.1 in the period ended Dec. 6 from 39.6 the prior week. Even with the slight gain, the gauge remains below this year’s average of 43.

Sentiment among households earning more than $100,000 a year fell to the lowest since early August, possibly reflecting swings in the stock market tied in part to concerns about cooler global growth. Subdued household attitudes threaten to carry over through less activity at cash registers during the holiday-shopping season.

Two of the three components of the comfort index advanced last week. The gauge of Americans’ current views of the economy rose to 31.7 from 30.6 the prior week.

The measure of the buying climate, showing whether this is a good time to purchase goods and services, climbed to 35.3 from 34.5. The index of personal finances eased to 53.4, the lowest since mid-August, from 53.7 the prior week.

Evidence of a stronger labor market was reflected elsewhere in the report. The measure of confidence among Americans with full-time jobs increased to 46.4 from 43.8, halting a nine-week downturn. Those employed part-time also were less pessimistic.

Payrolls climbed by 211,000 in November and the jobless rate held at a more than seven-year low of 5 percent, Labor Department data showed last week.

Jack December 10, 2015 at 3:33 pm

So how is it compared to were it was in December of 2008?

idcydm December 10, 2015 at 4:31 pm

Must be because of all those gun being bought that Bloomberg is against.


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