U.S. consumer confidence rose to its strongest level since mid-2007 due to falling gasoline prices and increased pace of hiring, which influenced a positive change in attitudes.
The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index grew to 45.4 in the week through Jan. 11, the most since July 2007, compared with 43.6 a week earlier. The reading of consumers’ attitude about the economy was also the highest in over seven years.
Declining gas prices, which are the lowest since 2009, as well as improvement in labor market have eased spending pains among consumers. Growth in wages should help the U.S. economy weather the global slowdown by boosting consumer spending.
“Views of the national economy have advanced the most dramatically,”Gary Langer, a New York-based president of Langer Research Associates LLC-which produced the data, said. “The advance in consumer sentiment mirrors other positive economic developments, including strong GDP growth and an expanding job market.”
The reading of Americans’ attitudes about the current economic situation rose to 39.1 last week, the most since August 2007, compared with 36.2 a week earlier. The index of personal finances, a key indicator, increased 1.9 points to 57.4, the strongest advance since November.
The measure of the buying climate, which tracks how consumers view whether it is the right time to make purchases, increased to 39.9, the most since April 2009, compared with 39.2 a week earlier.
In a separate report released by the Labor Department today, the number of Americans who made fresh applications for unemployment benefits increased by 19,000 to 316,000 over the week through Jan. 10, the strongest gain since September. To register for a free 2-week subscription to ForexMinute Premium Plan, visit www.forexminute.com/newsletter.
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