Consumer confidence rose from a nine-week low as Americans grew more upbeat about the economy, their finances and the buying climate.
The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort (COMFCOMF) Index rose to minus 29.1 in the period ended April 13 from minus 31.9 the prior week, the weakest reading since the start of February. The monthly economic expectations gauge improved in April after falling to a four-month low.
Sentiment recovered broadly last week among most income groups, with consumers’ spirits lifted in part by warmer weather that’s helped lower home-heating bills. Employment opportunities that propel bigger wage gains will provide Americans the wherewithal to extend a recent pickup in spending, supporting the economy.
“Both the labor market and growth have stabilized, albeit at low levels, which has bolstered the confidence of Americans in their own individual personal finances and the state of the national economy,” said Joseph Brusuelas, a senior economist at Bloomberg LP in New York. “Across the board in income levels, you saw broad improvement.”
Another report today showed the number of Americans filing for unemployment insurance payments last week hovered near the lowest level in almost seven years, showing the job market is making progress. Jobless claims increased by 2,000 to 304,000 in the week ended April 12 from a revised 302,000 the prior period that was the lowest since September 2007, according to Labor Department figures.