The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index has once again made another new high for the current cycle rising to 61.6 from last week’s 61.2. Not only is it an impressive release for the current cycle, but it is also at the highest level since the final days of 2000— one year after the index had hit its all-time highs. This data echoes a jump in bullish sentiment among individual investors that was also released earlier today. Optimism seems to be growing across the board.
Breaking the report down further into demographics, politics has had a strong impact on comfort readings. As you can see in the chart below, the party in power typically boosts comfort among its members and vice versa. Republicans currently top the chart with the highest comfort of all groups. The most recent release actually posted the highest comfort in the history of the survey (since 1990) for Republicans. Meanwhile, Democrats’ comfort is unsurprisingly significantly lower. Despite this, this group’s comfort has actually been climbing for several weeks now to its highest level since June. Drama over Supreme Court justices amid the wider trend of political polarization has not necessarily slowed consumer comfort on either side of the aisle.
Looking at income levels, there is a clear split at $50k. Income earners between $75K to $99.9K are sitting at their all-time high in terms of confidence, while the $100K and over group is not far behind. On the other hand, those making under $50K understandably have a much lower comfort level, but they are not at historically low readings. Incomes between $15K and $24.9K are currently in the lowest percentile of all demographics, while the lowest income demographic of under $15k actually sits in the 91st percentile only 0.7 points from its all-time high.
Some other honorable mentions are the homeowners, who despite weak housing market data claimed comfort in the 99th percentile. Conversely, renters are sitting relatively low on the list. Married individuals are within one point of their all-time high alongside college-educated individuals. There is also a discrepancy between comfort levels among men (70.3) and women (53.3).