Consumer Confidence Hits Highest Level Since February 2008

Black Friday shopping
BY CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. consumer confidence rose this month to its highest level in almost five years, helped by a better outlook for hiring over the next six months.

The Conference Board said Tuesday that its consumer confidence index rose to 73.7 in November from 73.1 in October. Both are the best readings since February 2008.

The index is still below the level of 90 that is consistent with a healthy economy. It last reached that point in December 2007, the first month of the Great Recession. But the index has increased from the all-time low of 25.3 touched in February 2009.

Higher consumer confidence could translate into a more robust holiday shopping season and stronger economic growth. Consumer spending drives nearly 70 percent of economic activity.

The report also supported the findings of a separate survey from the University of Michigan released last week, which showed consumer sentiment at a five-year high. Still, both surveys increased at slower rates than the previous month.

Americans are growing more optimistic because they see the job market getting improving, the Conference Board said. Employers added 171,000 jobs in October and more jobs were created in August and September than first thought.

The Conference Board surveyed approximately 5,000 households in the first two weeks of the month. Those surveyed were asked how they felt about the economy and job market now, as well as where they see both going in six months.

The survey found that most people viewed current conditions the same as in October. But the percentage of Americans who expect more jobs to be available in the next six months rose to 20.3 percent, from 19.7 percent in October.

More Americans said they plan to buy a home, an appliance or take a vacation, the survey found. But the percentage expecting to buy a car fell.

Many of the participants in the Michigan survey said they expect the unemployment rate to drop over the next six months. Still, some expressed concerns about the "fiscal cliff," a package of sharp tax increases and spending cuts that will take effect next year unless Congress and the White House can replace them. The tax increases would leave consumers with much less money to spend.

A better housing market may also be contributing to consumers' better mood.

Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller reported Tuesday that its 20-city index of home prices rose 3 percent in September compared with the same month last year. Prices also gained 3.6 percent in the July-September quarter compared with the same quarter in 2011.

Across the nation, prices increased in 18 of 20 cities over the 12-month period.






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78 Comments

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Delaware Jack

Just another case of a Bunch of Blue Staters Maxing out their Credit Cards .. Fools ... Idiots .. ...And so it Goes ..

November 28 2012 at 7:18 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
sfseltzer

I sure do not feel like I have high confidence. Now I am hearing they want to begin taxing gas even higher, take away the mortgage intrest deduction, add more taxes onto goods. I have decided to save, and am keeping Christmas presents smaller this year.

I am so disgusted to see people buy luxury food with their food stamps. Not down to earth food, but food you do not need. Why not buy a bag of potatos rather then the premade mashed? Sooo much cheaper. I have even begun watching my grocery bill.

November 28 2012 at 6:49 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
sfseltzer

I sure do not feel like I have high confidence. Now I am hearing they want to begin taxing gas even higher, take away the mortgage intrest deduction, add more taxes onto goods. I have decided to save, and am keeping Christmas presents smaller.

November 28 2012 at 6:22 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Vince

Higher consumer confidence usually shows up in the stock market. I don't see it. The market has stumbled ever since the election.

November 28 2012 at 2:38 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Vince's comment
lifehub

Exactly right, vince. Stocks are typically the gauge and Obama's re-coronation brought those gauge readings pretty low. This is just another of AOL's fictionalized stories.

November 28 2012 at 4:53 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
hemipwr54

Where China?

November 28 2012 at 1:14 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
basscat58

More Left Wing B-lls-it! Unemployment is at 16%! The Black Jerk got the White House on election Fraud in the 10 battle ground states 18,5 million voters in 2008 didn't vote! No way their votes were just cast aside! The country isn't Stupid ABC.CBS.NBC,CNN,& CNBC! Time for Dumb Ass Obama to go! Maybe you need a trip to Libya! Take the Bitch Susan Rice with you!

November 28 2012 at 12:19 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
vlady1000

The lady in front of me at the checkout, nicely dressesd, a lot of jewerly, mid 40's pays for a bunch of crap with a "bridge " card (gov freebie card). I pay fast and catch up with her in the parking lot.She gets into a fairly new Toyota Camery. I paid cash (from working for the couple NECEsSITIES I needed , wear clothes worth 1/5 of what she was wearing, no jewerly, and get into a 6 year old Chevy pickup............what is wrong with this picture?

November 27 2012 at 10:27 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to vlady1000's comment
freethedems2012

Unfortunately, that scene plays out thousands of times every day in this country.

November 27 2012 at 10:59 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
lifehub

Sorry but that's none of yer business....vd

November 28 2012 at 4:54 AM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to lifehub's comment
freethedems2012

We pay the welfare so it is our business...........dweeb.

November 28 2012 at 9:11 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down
Dennis Faulkner

I don't see this optimism where I am - Obama Care will bankrupt us - there is nothing more expensive than "free" stuff - and our government is not even remotely efficient!

November 27 2012 at 9:38 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Dennis Faulkner's comment
freethedems2012

The lunatic left will never admit it.

November 27 2012 at 9:44 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
cmax383666

Gas price is lower and its Christmas Americans are trying to enjoy one last good time before January,when gas will skyrocket shutting everything down.This after the Hard work our elected employees have put in for years.

November 27 2012 at 9:27 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
freethedems2012

H E L L O........People are spending because it's Christmas.

November 27 2012 at 8:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply