Thursday, September 3rd15.4°C
27215
27181

US consumer confidence drops

U.S. consumer confidence plunged in January to its lowest level in more than a year, reflecting higher Social Security taxes that left Americans with less take-home pay.

The Conference Board said Tuesday that its consumer confidence index dropped to 58.6 in January. That's down from a reading of 66.7 in December and the lowest since November 2011.

Conference Board economist Lynn Franco said the tax increase was a key reason confidence tumbled and made Americans less optimistic about the next six months.

Congress and the White House reached a deal on Jan. 1 to prevent income taxes from rising on most Americans. But they allowed a temporary cut in Social Security taxes to expire. For a worker earning $50,000 a year, take-home pay will shrink this year by about $1,000.

The survey was conducted through Jan. 17, at which point most people began to realize their paychecks were lighter.

Taxes are rising at a time when wages and salaries are barely growing. The combination is expected to hurt consumer spending and slow economic growth.

Many economists predict economic growth slowed in the October-December quarter to an annual rate of around 1 per cent. That would be much weaker that the 3.1 per cent rate in the July-September quarter. Most economists don't expect growth to pick up much in the first quarter of 2013.

The decline in confidence comes as the economy is signalling improvement elsewhere.

A recovery in housing market is looking more sustainable and is expected to strength this year.

Auto sales reached a five-year high of 14.5 million in 2012. Analysts expect sales will climb even higher this year, to 15.5 million.

Stocks are also near their all-time highs. The Standard and Poor's 500 has more than doubled from its low in 2009 and is just 4 per cent shy of its record high set in 2007.

Still, the job market remains sluggish. Employers have added an average of about 150,000 jobs a month for the past two years. That's enough for a gradual decline in the unemployment rate, which remains high at 7.8 per cent.

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News

27126


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX13596.41+51.16
S&P CDNX553.75+3.70
DJIA16374.76+23.38
Nasdaq4733.50-16.48
S&P 5001951.13+2.27
CDN Dollar0.7565-0.0013
Gold1123.40-0.30
Oil46.59-0.16
Lumber233.30-0.70
Natural Gas2.71-0.01

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.22+0.00
Knighthawk0.010.00
QHR Technologies Inc1.24+0.05
Cantex0.04-0.01
Anavex Life Sciences1.11-0.14
Metalex Ventures0.05-0.00
Russel Metals21.09+0.22
Copper Mountain Mining0.60-0.01
Colorado Resources0.075-0.010
ReliaBrand Inc0.0045+0.0005
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.02+0.00
Mission Ready Services0.08-0.01
Decisive Dividend Corp2.50-0.12

 



27126

FEATURED Property
18634521620 KLO road
$1,240,000
more details
image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


Where does the money go?

Photo: Thinkstock.comOne of the major components of business relationships that involve money are the fees in the investment industry. There is currently a quiet battle being waged between the practit...


Agree to ask questions

Photo: Thinkstock.comThe STORY: I think, said Janet to herself, that I just figured out a solution to my problem of letting the prospect run the meeting.With that thought in mind, she got out of her c...


Your business is not a bank

Photo: Thinkstock.comYour plumbing business is not a bank. But when you are giving terms to customers that exceed what you get from your suppliers, you become one. And every time that someone does not...

_








Member of BC Press Council


27074