(Bloomberg) — A weekly measure of U.S. consumer confidence remained close to the highest level since early April despite a retreat in sentiment about personal finances.
The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index declined 0.5 point to 49.3 in the week ended Sept. 27, data released Thursday showed, the first decrease since mid-August. The measure remains well below the pre-pandemic level.
A gauge of comfort in personal finances decreased 2.1 points, the largest decline since early May, as the stock-market selloff drove the S&P 500 to close lower for the fourth consecutive week. The subindex of the economy rose slightly to a fresh five-month high, while a measure of the buying climate was little changed.
The sentiment gap between the low- and high-income workers narrowed as the comfort among Americans with annual household incomes more than $100,000 dropped 2.8 points to 63.3. The partisan divide widened to a two-year high as sentiment among Republicans rose, while falling for Democrats.
The data echoed the Conference Board’s monthly confidence measure published Tuesday, which soared to a six-month high in September despite a reduction in unemployment benefits and worries about an increase in Covid-19 cases this fall.
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