Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index Plunges To Seven Month Low As Wealth Effect Trounced By Poverty Effect

Tyler Durden's picture

After staging a brief recovery in the last few weeks following the undeterred pursuit of the successful completion of Bernanke's wealth effect crusade (Russell at 36,000 or bust), consumer confidence has once again realized that while the rich are getting richer, it means jack for everyone else. As a result the Consumer Comfort index, which recently was moved from ABC to Bloomberg, has just plunged to a 7 month low, indicating comparable slides are coming in the other two reflexive market indicators, the UMich and the CONference Board. "Consumer confidence in the U.S. fell last week to the lowest level since August as more Americans became despondent over the economy. The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index dropped to minus 48.9 in the period to March 20 from minus 48.5 the prior week. The measure of the current state of the economy slumped to a 15-month low." And contrary to Central Planning assumptions that Americans are mostly idiots, the recent surge in gasoline prices to near 3 year highs was not missed: "“Given the rise in fuel and food costs, households are clearly indicating frustration over the need to reduce discretionary spending to meet demand for basic necessities,” said Joseph Brusuelas, a senior economist at Bloomberg LP in New York. “Even better-off households are feeling the pinch of rising prices, primarily at the pump.”"

The latest re-depressionary chart:

And more from Bloomberg:

Record Low

The Bloomberg Comfort Index, with records dating back to December 1985, fell to a record low of minus 54 in November 2008, while the peak of 38 was reached in January 2000. Readings averaged minus 45.7 last year.
The latest results for the comfort index reflected worsening results for one of the three components.
A gauge of Americans’ views of the economy fell to minus 86 last week, the lowest level since December 2009, from minus 80.3 the prior week. The share of households with a positive view of the economy dropped to 7 percent from 10 percent.
The measure of personal finances improved to minus 5.5 last week from minus 7.7, the report showed. Forty-seven percent of those polled held positive views on their financial situation, up from 46 percent the previous week.
The buying-climate index rose to minus 55.1 from minus 57.4. Those saying it was a good time to buy needed items climbed to 23 percent from 21 percent.

Full-Time Workers

Today’s report showed the strengthening labor market is doing little to lift consumers’ moods. The confidence index for Americans with full-time jobs fell to minus 38.4 last week, the lowest level since August, while it improved for those who were

Jobless claims declined by 5,000 to 382,000 in the week ended March 19, Labor Department figures showed today, in line with the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomber News. The total number of people receiving benefits dropped to the lowest level in almost three years.
Sentiment among women dropped last week to the lowest level since October 2009, the comfort report also showed.
Although elevated, little change in fuel costs last week may have prevented the comfort index from dropping even more.
The average price of regular gasoline at the pump was $3.55 a gallon on March 20, compared with $3.56 a week earlier, the highest since October 2008, according to AAA, the nation’s biggest motoring organization. The price jumped 39 cents in the three weeks ended March 13.
Linked to Gasoline

“Consumer confidence paused this week after a two-week rout, continuing to march in time with the price of a gallon of gasoline,” Gary Langer, president of Langer Research Associates LLC in New York, which compiles the index for Bloomberg, said in a statement. At the same time, the index is “uncomfortably near its historic low” of minus 54, he said.
Gasoline prices and the comfort index have shown a strong inverse correlation since 2004, according to calculations by Bloomberg economist Brusuelas. Additionally, changes in the four-week average of claims for jobless benefits have been in sync with the comfort gauge about 72 percent of the time.
Americans are paying more for staple food items like cereal, and costs may climb further in the next few months.
“In recent months we have announced a variety of pricing actions across our businesses,” Ken Powell, chief executive officer of General Mills Inc., the maker of Cheerios, said yesterday on a conference call. “Food manufacturers are managing through a period of rising and volatile costs for food ingredients and energy.”

Index’s Calculation

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index is based on responses to telephone interviews with a random sample of 1,000 consumers aged 18 and over. Each week, 250 respondents are asked for their views on the economy, personal finances and buying climate; the percentage of negative responses is subtracted from the share of positive views and divided by three. The most recent reading is based on the average of responses over the previous four weeks.
The comfort index can range from 100, indicating every participant in the survey had a positive response to all three components, to minus 100, signaling all views were negative. The margin of error for the headline reading is 3 percentage points.
The responses are broken down by participants’ sex, age, income level, race, region of residence, political affiliation, marital and employment status.
Field work for the index is done by SSRS/Social Science Research Solutions in Media, Pennsylvania.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Revolution_starts_now's picture

Poverty Bitchez. the real fuel of revolution.

TradingJoe's picture

At this point, I'd really REALLY like to have one, a BIG ONE!

See heads roll, starting at the TOP!

Most likely will never happen,

think of all the guns in all them poor people's basements!!!!

Ray1968's picture

If that happened, we'd be declared rebels, Obama would bomb us with our own military and the UN would establish a no-fly zone over America. Obama doctrine used against Obama totalitarianism.

Canadian jet fighters!

SheepDog-One's picture

Fine let them do whatever, lets see how that works when theyre not firing upon unarmed protestors, but heavily armed protestors.

glenlloyd's picture

I doubt we'd be labeled rebels, more likely 'domestic terrorists.'

66Sexy's picture

Moar bullish news for the DOW.

asteroids's picture

The floggings will continue until moral improves.

oh_bama's picture




If you ahve to do it, do it sooner!!

Conrad Murray's picture

There will be no revolution. Just a shitton of BAAWWWW. Nobody is ready to be labeled a terrorist for what he or she believes. Nobody is ready to sacrifice his or her life for a cause. This is not the middle east, there will be no blood. This is not Japan, there will be no unity. This is America, there will be servitude. Deal with it.

Revolution_starts_now's picture

"Nobody is ready to be labeled a terrorist for what he or she believes"

I prefer the term American Insurgent.

SilverBaron's picture

He just used the P word.  Copy that.  Should we take him in for questioning?  Does he have an American flag or Ron Paul bumper sticker?

Racer's picture

Let them eat iPads

tmosley's picture

With Japan shut down, looks like they will just have to eat shit instead.

Id fight Gandhi's picture

Not just radiated food and water, raise the safe limits and all is ok. Any drops in fallout is BTE

Careless Whisper's picture

@ Racer

ipods, ipads, and iphones are the next shoe to drop. these four senators say you have no first amendment rights, they will control the app market.,2817,2382500,00.asp


Ruffcut's picture

The MSM will make them think it "tastes like chicken".

Shameful's picture

Nah, just have people shift over to long pig.  Feature it in some cooking shows, that should drop meat prices and lower unemployment.

rocker's picture

Kudlow says, No Worry. Larry Kudlow tells all that matters to the elite when he said, "The Human toll here looks to be much worse than the economic toll and we can be grateful for that." His bitches at CNBC shook their heads in agreement.

At least the people on ZH have soul and a heart from what I've heard here. This is the best site for real news and the correct perspective of reality.  Tyler & Team Rocks !!!

101 years and counting's picture

the S&P was at 1040 the day before Bernanke "hinted" at QE2.  remember that....the right shoulder was about to fail and GS said 900 was the target should it fail??????



downwiththebanks's picture

The wealth effect and the poverty effect are one in the same.

No War But The Class War:  You're either with the capitalists, or you're with their slaves.

Sitting on the fence gets you nothing but a bloody asshole.

ziggy59's picture

GS is readjusting US GDP again..LOL

Fortunes Favor's picture

Bad news is good news for the commodity and equity markets.


Understanding the Government Manipulated Credit Market Evolution @


John Law Lives's picture

Must be time for more currency printing. That solves all problems. If the Chicago Cubs could print money, they would win the World Series.

Republican Lackey's picture

Americans are a whiny bunch.  It's embarrassing. 

tmosley's picture

Joy, another Libtroll.

What's wrong?  Are you so threatened by those of us who understand what is really going on that you have to come here and try to disrupt conversation?

Republican Lackey's picture

Enlighten me as to what is going on?

lieutenantjohnchard's picture

if you don't know by now then there's nothing anybody could tell you to give you a clue.

RobotTrader's picture

Hands down, retail stocks have been by far the strongest sector, absolutely unfazed by all the recent geopolitical and thermonuclear storms flaming out of control.

WMT, BBY, etc. especially strong today.

John Law Lives's picture


ZH won't give us an ignore button (gee, I wonder why???), but you get an IGNORE.

Id fight Gandhi's picture

Ignore would be nice, sure an opposing side is useful but every other news source is ra ra rally.

Shitty data? World burning? Buy stocks!

lieutenantjohnchard's picture

true, the poster known as robottrader gets an ignore time stamp because he ignores his own advice.

that said, jim sinclair sends the warmest regards to the old catfish mouth robo uber bull bear wannbe. so does t. boone pickens who faded the old catfish mouth's call of collapsing oil as proof there was no inflation.

Oh regional Indian's picture

JLL, you have to give Robot one thing in his favour. Or two.

a) His charts point out the utter madness of the system. retail spending down, retail stocks up. Tells us a lot about the state of the world in many ways. I'll give you a small India example. Right now, hands down, the most "funded" sector in India is Retail. Malls, stores, on-line, off-line, discount, it. Sprouting up like the cancers they are. And many/most of them have perrinial "SALE" signs on them. Tells me that someone is flogging retail, losses be damned. Also tells you a lot about the true cost input for many manufacturers (CHINAAA). It's really that bad. off the charts. And newly credit rich Indians are buying like there is no tomorrow. 

2) For a stock trader interested in fiat returns, against all odds (talk abotu AGAINST ALL ODDS) the market is UP and you woudl have made a hefty chunk of FRN's if you were invested in said god-damned retail sector. Ugly reality.


Careless Whisper's picture

back from the un-dead. CARS goes from $0.34 to $17.71 in two years.

John Law Lives's picture

I have invested in the markets since the 1980s (though I am 100% out as of late 2010).  I mostly invested in oil and gas services and technology firms over the years.  However, what is happening now is patently absurd.  Every bit of lousy macroeconomic data is ignored as certain Central Banks flood their respective nation's money supply.  That will not work, and it is enslaving the next generation with massive debt.  I honestly wonder if certain Central Banks really do want to manufacture global currency crises in the future hope of establishing one world currency... and one world government.  Thank goodness there are still sites like this one that make the effort to tell the truth.

LawsofPhysics's picture

Yes, they do.  In fact, go dig around the U.N.'s website and that of the IMF.  It is discussed at length and in great detail.  it is coming.  Sheeple are way too apathetic and lazy to revolt on something like "principle".  Now starvation, well that might get a different response.

linrom's picture

XRT as an index has a perfect track record. Since its inception at the peak of 'consumerism' in 2006 it has returned annualized return of 17.8%. The holdings of this ETF are plain vanilla box stores that you typically find in a shopping center: Sypervalu Inc owned supermarkets, Dollar Gen, 99 Cents Only, Dollar Tree, Areopostal, Abercombie, Whole Foods, Petsmart, Wal Mart, Autozone, Borders etc.

This index also bottomed in Nov 2009; that's 4 months before the market bottom in March 2010. It also peaked in Jan 2007, again well before the market tanked.

But you can ignore the index?

The Axe's picture

RoBo....AMZN is the retailer...thats off to the races..after a William Blair...cheerleading session

tmosley's picture

I guess you, being a retard, never heard of silver, which is up 120%, beating the shit out of your precious retail fail.

Working on an 8th bankruptcy already, eh?

lieutenantjohnchard's picture

the catfish mouth gives a whole new meaning to the word retard. yoy bby down 20%, wmt down 5% and silver up 120%.

and he would have us believe he made so much money in the market he was able to retire.

i guess retire means different things to different people.

SheepDog-One's picture

RainbowTrader once again wrong today as he said today markets would be way up or way down...neither is the case. BTW stocks purchasing power adjusted are a big washout epic fail for the year. Cheer on, retard.

TruthInSunshine's picture

At this pace, RoboTrader may break even on an 11 year timeline (from 2000), if he hadn't sold (inevitably) at the many lows along the way, when Bill Margin called.

Naw...he'd still have lost his ass, under that imaginary scenario, as many of the companies listed back then (and since) were either delisted, and are now penny stocks, or went belly up, aka to $0.00.

And watch the lemming dive off the cliff, holding hands once again. Committing Bernankincide is what they're calling it now.

stormsailor's picture

yeah robo, this market is unreadable and makes absolutely no sense.


that short you called tuesday could have made a little coin, but if you held it you are about 8 points underwater.


chart analysis does not work anymore.  its an insiders game now.

Horatio Beanblower's picture

Rick Santelli will be on the Peter Schiff Show soon.  Schiff is away; Michael Pento is sitting in -

thepigman's picture

Lucky we have this market scam

going for us. Who cares if there's no

volume. No one will ever need to


thepigman's picture

Heck, Robo can't even stay consistent.

Last time I looked he was bearish, and

here he is pumping rainbows and

unicorns again.

Arch Duke Ferdinand's picture

Germane Topic

Congress vs Big Banks....Which is to Blame?....3/Revolution/Starve the Govenrnment...


"Wrong Side Up"....OT Comedy...2 min short...