Wednesday, August 27th18.0°C
22817
22372

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

22671


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX15619.21+20.47
S&P CDNX1015.367.12
DJIA17106.7029.83
Nasdaq4570.637+13.289
S&P 5002000.02+2.10
CDN Dollar0.9178+0.0049
Gold1281.10+3.7999
Oil94.12+0.26
Lumber349.50+0.30
Natural Gas3.948+0.037

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.180.00
Knighthawk0.01-0.005
QHR Technologies Inc1.190.00
Cantex0.07+0.005
Anavex Life Sciences0.25-0.007
Metalex Ventures0.075-0.005
Russel Metals36.62-0.32
Copper Mountain Mining3.03+0.02
Colorado Resources0.175+0.005
ReliaBrand Inc0.115+0.02
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.0250.00
Mission Ready Services0.250.00

 



22997

FEATURED Property
2007911Unit 7 & 8 - 2520 Juliann Rd
$678,900
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


How much mortgage should you carry?

There are several things to consider when deciding how much home to buy. 1. Draw up a budget including the new mortgage payments. While the rules used by most lenders require that the mortgage paym...


What is a journey without a destination?

Photo: ContributedI would call it a joy ride... You see a planned project or business has a destination. It may be an ongoing revenue stream, it may be a business value or an exit strategy. If you don...


Joint accounts: what you need to know!

Establishing a joint account may seem like a great strategy at first glance. However, there are many factors that must be considered before taking this action. This article will explore the use of &ls...

_



23002




Member of BC Press Council


22847