Gender Gap in Consumer Comfort Widens to Record as Men Gain

Gender Gap in Consumer Comfort Widens to Record as Men Gain

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)

  • Weekly index eased to 58.6 from a 17-year high 59 in previous week
  • Gender gap widened to 18.6 points in favor of men, up from 16.5 points in prior week
  • Gauge of current views of the economy decreased to 60.3 from 61.5; measure of buying climate fell to 49.9 from 50.6
  • Comfort gauge of personal finances rose to 65.6, highest since mid-April, from 64.9

Key Takeaways

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.

Other Details

  • 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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Author: HEDGE

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