U.S. Consumer Confidence Drops on Higher Petro Prices, According to Bloomberg Index

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As reported by Bloomberg’s  Alex Kowalski : Consumer Confidence

Consumer confidence in the U.S. fell last week for the first time in a month as rising gasoline prices caused households to worry about their finances.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index decreased to minus 45.1 in the period ended April 24, the lowest level since the end of March, from minus 42.6 the prior week. Measures of personal finances and buying climate dropped.

Another report today showed consumer spending climbed more than forecast in the first quarter, indicating that more jobs and rising incomes are helping Americans cope with the jump in fuel costs. To spur the economy, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke signaled yesterday policy makers will maintain record monetary stimulus after ending large-scale bond purchases in June.

“Job growth boosts overall income growth, and that’s certainly a key part supporting consumption,” said Ryan Wang, an economist at HSBC Securities USA Inc. in New York. “The risk, though, is that higher gasoline prices squeeze disposable income.”

The personal finances gauge dropped to minus 9.2 last week, the lowest since Feb. 13, from minus 0.3, the report showed. Forty-five percent of those polled held positive views on their financial situation, down from 50 percent the previous week.

The buying-climate index decreased to minus 51.8 from minus 49.2. Those people saying it was a good time to buy needed items fell a point to 24 percent.

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