Bloomberg reports gloomy consumer outlook

WASHINGTON — A report released Thursday by Bloomberg said that U.S. consumer confidence held last week at the second-lowest level of 2011 as the highest number of households in three years said it was a bad time to spend.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index was minus 49.3 in the period to Sept. 11, near the 2011 low of minus 49.4 reached in May. The buying climate gauge slumped to the lowest level since October 2008.

According to the report, the majority — 9-out-of-10 — of Americans polled had a negative view on the economy.

The consumer comfort gauge has been stuck below minus 40 — the level associated with recessions or their aftermath — since the end of February. It has averaged minus 45.4 this year, compared with minus 45.7 for 2010 and minus 47.9 in 2009, the year the last recession ended, according to the report.

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