Saturday, August 1st32.7°C
27107
26096

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

26873


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX14468.44+85.68
S&P CDNX594.31+6.01
DJIA17689.86-56.12
Nasdaq5128.28-0.50
S&P 5002103.84-4.79
CDN Dollar0.7640-0.0052
Gold1096.90+0.60
Oil47.22-1.69
Lumber252.30+0.50
Natural Gas2.883+0.062

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.17-0.01
Knighthawk0.010.00
QHR Technologies Inc1.42+0.00
Cantex0.035-0.005
Anavex Life Sciences0.9101+0.1101
Metalex Ventures0.05+0.00
Russel Metals19.40-0.05
Copper Mountain Mining0.79+0.01
Colorado Resources0.065+0.005
ReliaBrand Inc0.0049+0.0004
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.03+0.00
Mission Ready Services0.095-0.045
Decisive Dividend Corp2.55+0.05

 



24947

FEATURED Property
2236443962 Ryder Drive
6 bedrooms 7 baths
$1,599,900
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


Chasing ducks

Photo: Thinkstock.comWhen businessmen tell me that being low priced is the only way to stay in business, I am skeptical. Price is the simplest way for a consumer to compare and is overused as the basi...


Taking care of business

Photo: Thinkstock.comRetirement as a goal has changed a lot over the years. There was a time, it was the only goal. You’d punch the clock and count the years until you could stop punching that t...


Income from home equity

Photo: Thinkstock.comWhen retirement funds run low, seniors often ask if tapping into the equity in their home is the right way to retain financial independence. To see if this option might be a good ...

_








Member of BC Press Council


26916