Tuesday, April 21st5.0°C
25924

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

25866


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX15412.60+52.05
S&P CDNX703.65+0.80
DJIA18034.93+208.63
Nasdaq4994.60+62.79
S&P 5002100.40+19.22
CDN Dollar0.8180+0.0004
Gold1193.40-0.10
Oil56.22-0.16
Lumber247.70-0.70
Natural Gas2.553+0.017

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.115-0.005
Knighthawk0.010.00
QHR Technologies Inc1.42+0.02
Cantex0.035+0.005
Anavex Life Sciences0.385+0.055
Metalex Ventures0.085+0.010
Russel Metals27.42-0.06
Copper Mountain Mining1.10-0.03
Colorado Resources0.11+0.01
ReliaBrand Inc0.005+0.001
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.04+0.00
Mission Ready Services0.185+0.010
Decisive Dividend Corporation1.80+0.15

 



24200

FEATURED Property
2215394#25 7760 Okanagan Landing Road
3 bedrooms 3 baths
$639,000
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


Calling on your help!

Has the internet flattened prices as predicted? Has the internet created opportunities for your business to find higher priced markets further afield? Is posting prices on your website a good thing o...


Living with Plan B

“It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.”― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit Photo: Thinkstock.comHuman beings are optimists by nature. Whether...


Reverse mortgage solution

With the housing and financial markets on solid footing, some retired Canadians may consider cashing in their growing assets to enjoy vacations and major home renovations. Others, on the other hand, a...

_



26091

26069


Member of BC Press Council


24875