Washington, D.C. —
"Given the budget battle ahead over the federal-debt limit and spending cuts, it seems likely that partisan-related divisions will carry on into the new year," said Gary Langer, president of Langer Research Associates in New York, which compiles the index for Bloomberg.
The Consumer Comfort Index is based on telephone surveys from a random sample of 1,000 consumers 18 years old and older. 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.