Consumer sentiment tied its 2010 high this week, matching its best since the global financial crisis of 2008. Not that anybody would call it good.
The ABC News Consumer Comfort Index stands at -41 on its scale of +100 to -100, equaling its level the first week of January and before then in September 2008, just before credit markets froze and the nation spun into deep recession.
The CCI is miles from its long-term average, -13 in weekly polls since late 1985, and its challenges remain deep; in a separate, forward-looking measure, just 23 percent last week said the economy is getting better, down from 33 percent in May. Nonetheless the index is above its average for the year, -46, as well as its 2009 average, -48, its worst year on record.
Younger people appear to be helping; the index among adults under age 35 has ranged from -30 to -36 the past seven weeks. It hadn’t been better than -40 since January and fell as low as -50 to -55 in this age group from mid-April to mid-May.
Among all adults, only 12 percent say the economy is in excellent or good shape, but that’s been in double digits for eight weeks straight; before then its 2010 average had been 9 percent. And while 42 percent say the economy is in “poor” condition, that’s been no worse than 45 percent since late April. Until that point its 2010 average had been 48 percent poor, compared with averages of 52 percent in 2009 and 60 percent from mid-September through December 2008.
Summary by Mike Mokrzycki. Click here for tables with this week’s CCI data.