WASHINGTON (8/12/13)--Buoyed by improved views on the economy, personal finances and spending, U.S. consumer confidence rose for the week ended Aug. 4 to the highest level in more than five years, according to the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index.
The index climbed to -23.5 for the week--the best reading since January 2008. It was -27 the prior week (Bloomberg.com and Moody's Economy.com Aug. 8).
Consumer sentiment was strongest in the Northeast and West regions.
Nearly all income groups saw gains--with the largest increases from the lower end of the of the salary spectrum, Bloomberg said. Confidence among people making less than $15,000 annually jumped 11.4 points, Moody's said.
That broadening of the increases to include consumers with the lowest incomes indicated the labor market is improving for a larger percentage of households--which will help place consumer spending on more solid ground, Bloomberg said.
However, even quicker income and job growth are necessary to prompt more purchases by consumers, following a second-quarter slowdown, Bloomberg said.