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December 28, 2005

Blame Americans: Consumer Confidence Soars

Goodness, it was all just about the gas prices.

I understand that higher gas prices take money out of people's pockets, but honestly, is our nation so sensitive to such predictable and inevitable rises in the cost of gas that it trumps all the terrific news about the economy? Apparently so.

- Consumer confidence surged in December as declining gasoline prices and improving job opportunities buoyed spirits, boding well for spending in the new year.

The Conference Board said Wednesday that its Consumer Confidence Index advanced to 103.6 this month after recovering to 98.3 in November. That was better than the 103.0 reading analysts had expected for December.

December’s rise put the index at its highest level since Hurricane Katrina struck on Aug. 29, devastating Gulf Coast states and disrupting fuel and trade for much of the nation. Last August, before the storm, the index registered 105.5.

Rasmussen confirms that people are more optimistic about their employment prospects:

Looking ahead to the new year, 47% of workers expect their job prospects will be better in 2006 than in 2005. A national Hudson survey also found that 3-out-of-5 workers expect to earn more next year than they did this past year. That includes 21 percent who expect to earn significantly more and 42% who say they hope to earn a little more.


“While 2005 was a challenging year on many fronts, U.S. workers continued to show their resilience and optimism heading into the new year,” said Steve Wolfe, executive vice president, Hudson, North America. “We anticipate that 2006 will be a stronger year for worker confidence and for workers’ leverage as they seek to improve their skills and investigate new opportunities.”

And I can't find the poll at the moment (it may be available only to premium members at this point), but Rasmussen just reported that investor confidence is also at a local high.

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posted by Ace at 01:52 PM

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