The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index averaged minus 30.1 in the first three months of this year.
That’s the strongest first-quarter rating for the consumer sentiment gauge since 2007, before the biggest economic downturn since the Great Depression took hold.
The weekly index rose to minus 30 in the week ended March 30 from minus 31.5, which was the weakest showing since early February. The rating is produced by Langer Research Associates and is based on how Americans feel about the national economy, the buying climate and their personal finances, using a scale ranging from 100 to minus 100.
“An improving labor market, reflected by a decline in jobless claims and gains in hiring, is helping lower-income Americans cope with higher fuel bills, which will probably help sustain household spending, the biggest part of the economy. An end of harsh winter weather brought customers back to dealer showrooms in March, lifting auto sales to a seven-year high,” Bloomberg’s Shobhana Chandra reported.