The measure of US consumer sentiment improved for the 1st time in 5 weeks as political tension in Washington eased after the longest government shutdown in the country’s history.
The Consumer Comfort Index rose to 58.2 last week from 57.4, according to a report Thursday.
A measure of ratings about personal finances climbed to a seven-week high, while gauges of the buying climate and national economy also posted gains.
The Key Takeaways
- The broad advance shows sentiment brightening after the 5-week government shutdown ended on 25 January. The rebound following the political impasse and financial-market volatility it spurred brings the main gauge back closer to the 17-year high that it reached in September.
- The recovery follows a January jobs report showing that the labor market remained surprisingly robust with solid wage gains that could help support consumer spending.
- The comfort gauge rose in 3 of 4 regions, with the Midwest index rising to the highest since Y 2000 and the West posting a decline.
- Sentiment among Democrats declined to its lowest level since September, while the reading for Republicans dropped and the level for independents increased.
- Comfort for those ages 35 to 44 fell for a 3rd week as other age groups showed gains.
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