A gauge of US consumer comfort falls for the first time in 7 weeks as coronavirus cases climb

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  • Bloomberg’s Consumer Comfort Index fell 0.4 points to 42.9 in the week ending July 5, Bloomberg reported Thursday. It’s the first time in seven weeks that the index has declined.
  • The slump in the index was led by a decline in buying attitudes and sentiment from respondents in the South, according to the report.
  • The decline in consumer comfort comes as states across the US grapple with spiking coronavirus cases that have led them to pause or roll back economic reopenings, threatening the recovery.
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A gauge of US consumer comfort slipped for the first time in seven weeks as new coronavirus cases climb in some states, threatening the economic recovery.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell 0.4 points to 42.9 in the week ending July 5, according to a Thursday report. The slump in the index was led by a decline to three-week lows in buying attitudes and consumer sentiment from respondents in the South, Bloomberg reported.

The slip in consumer comfort comes amid surging coronavirus cases in some states. On Tuesday, the US reported a record 60,000 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total count to more than 3 million,according to data tracked by Johns Hopkins University.


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That’s led many states to pause or roll back their plans to reopen from shutdowns that started in mid-March to contain the virus. Now, states are again adding restrictions including banning outdoor dining and closing bars.

Consumer sentiment is an important indicator because consumption makes up about 70% of US gross domestic product, meaning it’s a cornerstone of the economy that will play an important part in the recovery from the pandemic recession.

If it falls further, that could add to concerns that the swift recovery seen thus far in indicators such as surging retail sales and record jobs added is losing steam.