Bloomberg by the Numbers: 12.9

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A customer in a show room in Niles, Illinois.

That’s how much the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose during 2012.

The index, which measures Americans’ perceptions of the national economy, their personal finances and the buying climate, was minus 31.8 in the week ended Dec. 30, compared with minus 44.7 in the week ended Jan. 8. The index ranges from minus 100 to plus 100.

The increase was the biggest in a calendar year since 1998, when the index rose by 14 points, to plus 25 from plus 11.

During 2012, the index ranged from a low of minus 47.4 in mid-August and a high of minus 31.4, reached twice in April.

Despite the rise in the index, it’s still “far below” its long-term average of minus 15.8, “a testament to the still-shaky recovery,” Langer Research Associates, which produces the index, said in a written analysis.

Bloomberg News reported on the index yesterday.

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