TribLIVE

| Business


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Consumer confidence improves

On the Grid

From the shale fields to the cooling towers, Trib Total Media covers the energy industry in Western Pennsylvania and beyond. For the latest news and views on gas, coal, electricity and more, check out On the Grid today.

By The Associated Press
Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014, 12:01 a.m.
 

WASHINGTON — American consumer confidence jumped this month on a better outlook for hiring and overall growth, supporting other signs that show the economy could accelerate in 2014.

The Conference Board said Tuesday that its index of consumer confidence rose to 78.1 in December, up from 72 in the previous month. November's figure was revised up from 70.4.

Consumer confidence is nearly back to where it was before the partial government shutdown in October. Steady job gains and a surging stock market have made Americans more optimistic about the economy and hiring both now and in the next six months.

“The upbeat consumer mood bodes well for spending in 2014,” said Michael Dolega, senior economist at TD Economics.

Optimism about the job market is at a five-year high. That is a positive sign for a strong December jobs report, which will be released next week.

Olindy Cinada, 24, of Newport News, Va, says he's seen “a lot more job openings in the past month.”

In fact, he was hired in December as a meter reader for the Newport News Waterworks, the regional water provider owned and operated by the city. As a result, he and his wife are planning to buy a home next year.

A better job market could also drive more consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of economic activity.

A last-minute surge of online shopping helped boost overall holiday spending, according to MasterCard Advisors' SpendingPulse report. Sales from Nov. 1 through Dec. 24 rose 3.5 percent compared with last year, the firm said last week.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Business Headlines

  1. Hospitals, doctors in Pa. received $32M in 5 months from drug, medical device companies
  2. LNG exports get federal approval from Dominion’s Cove Point terminal
  3. Google Pittsburgh instrumental in fight against hackers, co-directors say
  4. EPA says greenhouse gas releases from wells, pipelines decline
  5. Education spending helps to widen wealth gap
  6. Retirement planning is about more than just money
  7. DEP hopes new drilling rules will help find, cap abandoned wells
  8. Cranberry-based Prodigo Solutions: Hospitals can reduce high supply costs
  9. Western Pa. unemployment rate holds steady in August
  10. Trib 30 index of Pittsburgh-area stocks falls in September
  11. Shareholders cheer eBay’s decision to spin off PayPal
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.