Consumer confidence rose last week to a seven year-high as falling gas prices and continued job growth burnish American attitudes.
The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index climbed to 41.7 in the period ended December 14, the highest reading since mid-November 2007, from 41.3 the week before. Monthly views on economic expectations rose to match a two-year high.
The measure of Americans' views on the current state of the economy rose to 32.5 last week, the highest since December 2007, from 31.8 the month before. A gauge of the buying climate, which shows whether now is a good time to purchase goods and services, climbed to 38.4, the highest since August 2007, from 37.3 in the previous period. The measure of personal finances, the strongest of the three components, edged down to 54.1 last week from 54.9.
The comfort index has averaged 36.5 for the year, the best since 2007.
The comfort report's monthly economic expectations index rose to 51 from 47 the month before. Some 32 percent of Americans surveyed said the economy is getting better, matching the most since December 2012, while 30 percent said it's getting worse.
Sentiment rose in four of seven income brackets and fell in two. Those making less than $15,000 saw the biggest improvement, rising to 22.9 from 20.5, while attitudes for those making more than $50,000 were the most positive since August 2007.
Among regions, the South saw the biggest increase in confidence, rising to 39.3 last week from 37.1. Sentiment also rose in the Midwest, while it dropped in the Northeast and West.