Magic Number of the Day: 40

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A gasoline delivery in San Anselmo, California.

That’s the drop in cents of the average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in the past 10 weeks. The price was $3.532 yesterday, a four-month low down from a 2012 high of $3.936 on April 4.

Declining gas prices may explain why the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose to minus 36.4 in the week ended June 10 from minus 37.6.

“Gasoline prices may be helping: A serious irritant when rising, they’ve eased by 22 cents a gallon since the first week of May, to their lowest since mid-February,” Langer Research Associates, which produces the index, said in a written analysis.

“Households feel a bit more comfortably about their own financial situation,” Joseph Brusuelas, a senior economist at Bloomberg LP in New York, told Bloomberg News’ Michelle Jamrisko, who wrote an analysis of this week’s index.

The labor market continues to struggle, though. Initial jobless claims unexpectedly climbed by 6,000 to 386,000 in the week ended June 9, Bloomberg’s Alex Kowalski reports. Economists had projected claims would fall to 375,000.

The economy is the focus of this year’s presidential election. President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney will campaign in Ohio and also attend fundraisers. Julie Hirschfeld Davis previews the Ohio campaign stops in a story that also reports on Romney’s speech yesterday to the Business Roundtable quarterly meeting in Washington. No Republican has ever been elected president without winning Ohio.

Obama will raise money tonight at the New York home of actress Sarah Jessica Parker and her husband, actor Matthew Broderick. Kate Andersen Brower has more about this fundraiser in a story that looks at how Obama is raising money from entertainment industry “to help fill the fundraising hole left by defections of some Wall Street donors.”


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