Based on its growth rate since June 2009, when the recession officially ended, the index would finally reach its pre-recession reading of 45.3 some 11 years after the economic downturn began, according to Langer Research Associates. The index was 37.1 out of a possible 100 in the week ended May 4, essentially unchanged from 37.9 the previous week.
It “held essentially steady this week at one of its best readings since shortly after the Great Recession began, led by continued comparatively strong ratings of personal finances and the buying climate,” Langer Research Associates, which produces the index, said in a written analysis. “But weakness in views of the national economy underscore persistent challenges to full recovery.”
“The recent pickup comes as employment prospects improve, helping keep consumers’ views of their financial situations close to a six-year high,” Bloomberg’s Jeanna Smialek reported. “While such optimism will probably underpin personal spending, higher gasoline prices are leaving Americans less optimistic about the economy.”
The index was rebased on a scale of zero to 100 rather than its previous minus 100 to plus 100 configuration.