Wednesday, October 22nd9.3°C
23840

US consumer confidence climbs to 80.7 in January, highest level since August

WASHINGTON - U.S. consumer confidence has risen to its highest point since August on the strength of a brighter view of the job market and business conditions.

The Conference Board, a business research group, said Tuesday its consumer confidence index rose to 80.7 this month from a December reading of 77.5. It was the second consecutive strong gain.

"Confidence appears to be back on track and rising expectations suggest the economy may pick up some momentum in the months ahead," said Conference Board economist Lynn Franco.

Consumer confidence is closely watched because consumer spending accounts for 70 per cent of U.S. economic activity.

Amna Asaf, an economist at Capital Economics, said the January improvement was encouraging given the unseasonably cold weather during the month. She said it probably reflected the strong stock market gains that were occurring during the survey period, which ended on Jan. 16.

But she cautioned that the confidence gauge could retreat in the February reading if stock prices don't rebound from their recent declines.

For 2013, the confidence gauge averaged 73.3, the highest since 2007. That's above the 45.2 average in 2009 when the economy was in recession for half the year. But it is still below the reading of 90 that economists view as consistent with a healthy economy.

The unemployment rate fell to a five-year low of 6.7 per cent in December, down from 7 per cent in November. But the improvement came for the wrong reason. Many Americans gave up looking for work and were therefore not counted as unemployed. Job growth also slowed in December with employers adding just 74,000 jobs.

But economists believe that slowdown was a temporary blip from what they are expecting to be a strong job performance in the coming year, reflecting increased strength in the economy.

Many analysts are forecasting that the overall economy will grow at around 3 per cent in 2014, up a full percentage point from 2013 growth. The federal government is expected to be less of a drag on activity this year.

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News

23631


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX14312.07-235.64
S&P CDNX808.00-14.28
DJIA16461.32-153.49
Nasdaq4382.847-36.632
S&P 5001927.11-14.17
CDN Dollar0.8883-0.0012
Gold1243.70-1.80
Oil79.76-0.37
Lumber330.40+1.70
Natural Gas3.65-0.009

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.12+0.02
Knighthawk0.01-0.005
QHR Technologies Inc1.15-0.02
Cantex0.055-0.025
Anavex Life Sciences0.198+0.006
Metalex Ventures0.05+0.005
Russel Metals32.53-0.56
Copper Mountain Mining2.10-0.07
Colorado Resources0.145-0.005
ReliaBrand Inc0.013+0.001
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.05-0.01
Mission Ready Services0.405-0.055

 





FEATURED Property
20974062722 Dubbin Road
3 bedrooms 4 baths
$1,995,000
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


Keep it rubber side down

This time of year, I always worry about which friends of mine will get caught going off the road in adverse weather conditions. With a little preparation most accidents can be avoided. Having won the...


Big bank predicts rate hike

Photo: Thinkstock.comThe end of record-low rates is nigh, according to one major bank, which has taken a stance and predicted when the Bank of Canada will raise its long-standing overnight rate. &ldq...


Experts share strategies in Kelowna

The third week in October is “Small Business Week”, a week dedicated to supporting local, small businesses. The week was designed to bring awareness to Canadians about the role small busin...

_








Member of BC Press Council


23091