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Economic Expectations of U.S. Consumers Climb to Six-Month High


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© Bloomberg. Shoppers walk through the Queens Center shopping mall in the Queens borough of New York. Photographer: Peter Foley/Bloomberg

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(Bloomberg) — U.S. consumers’ economic expectations reached a six-month high in September, with the increased optimism largely concentrated among Republican voters and highlighting a partisan divide about the recovery’s prospects.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort monthly gauge advanced 3.5 percentage points to 41.5, according to the Sept. 1-14 survey released Thursday. Even with the gain, the expectations index is still 16 percentage points below the pre-pandemic level as millions of Americans continue to collect unemployment benefits.

At 29%, the share of respondents this month who said the economy was getting better rose 6 percentage points to the highest level since February. Still, 46% said conditions are getting worse.

Half of Republican respondents said the economy is improving, compared with just 15% of Democrats and 25% of political independents.

The weekly measure of consumer comfort was little changed at 47.7 in the latest period after rising the previous week to 47.8, the highest level since early April. The gauge of personal finances rose for a fourth week and was the strongest since late March.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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