The consumer is becoming a little more optimistic about progress in the economy. For the latest week, the Bloomberg consumer comfort index rose to minus 39.6 from minus 40.8 the week before. This index is at its highest level in two months. The improvement is consistent with today's sharp drop in initial jobless claims and recent uptrend in home prices.
Among the individual gauges, just 15 percent of Americans rate the economy positively-20 points worse than its long-term average, but still the most in three months. And while 41 percent give the economy its worst rating, "poor," that's the fewest since late July.
Twenty-eight percent call this a good time to buy the things they want and need, 8 points off its average and an eight-week high. More, 48 percent, rate their own finances positively-fewer than half, but a seven-week high, and also 8 points from its average.