More Americans in June saw the economy worsening than at any time in more than two and a half years, and a weekly gauge of consumer comfort also declined, according to figures from the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index released Thursday.
- Monthly economic expectations measure fell to 41 in June, the weakest since October 2013, from 44.5 in May
- Weekly comfort index declined to 42.1 in the period ended June 12 from 43.5
- Buying-climate gauge dropped to 38, the lowest since mid-December, from 40.3
- Measure of personal finances decreased to 55.8 from 57.4
- Weekly index of views on the economy eased to 32.7 from 32.9
Although consumer spending is strengthening this quarter — and the old saw has been to look at what households do rather than what they say or how they feel — fragile views on the economic outlook threaten to temper the purchases that make up the largest part of the economy. There will need to be a pickup in employment to bolster sentiment, particularly as the presidential-campaign rhetoric is likely to turn even more contentious heading into the upcoming election.