A measure of confidence among American men climbed last week to an almost 18-year high, exceeding that of women by the most in records back to 1990 and keeping the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index elevated, according to data released Thursday.
|Highlights of Consumer Comfort (Week Ended July 29)|
The drop in consumer comfort snapped a string of seven straight weekly advances characterized by a pickup in optimism among men. Underlying the gender gap are two factors: women are more likely than men to be Democrats and less likely to have incomes exceeding $100,000. Republican affiliation and higher earnings correlate with higher comfort scores, according to the report.
The data showed comfort about the economy fell for just the second time since early June as Americans weigh the implications of a trade war, as well as the labor market’s ongoing strength and recent rebound in economic growth. The U.S. economy accelerated to a 4.1 percent annualized pace of expansion in the second quarter, the fastest since 2014. Optimism about personal finances rose amid steady fuel prices and a rebound in stocks from the year’s low in February.
- Confidence among those ages 45 to 54 reached its highest level in more than 17 years
- Comfort among respondents with incomes below $50,000 a year was the highest in data to December 2010
- Sentiment declined last week among respondents in three of four U.S. regions; increased in the West
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