Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Consumer Confidence Reaches Highest Level in 4 Years

Americans are more positive about the direction of the economy, as consumer confidence reached its highest level since October 2007, according to a Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan index on consumer sentiment. Americans are more positive about the job market and salary increases, and may be more willing to spend, the index showed. Half of the consumers in the index said the economy had improved in the last year. And more consumers reported plans to buy cars and household durables. Higher-income Americans are more optimistic about salary increases than lower-income Americans, according to the index. Americans with incomes greater than $75,000 predicted more salary increases with an average 2 percent boost in income by next year. However, Americans who make less than $75,000 only anticipate a 0.3 percent increase in salaries. “You’ve got a variety of forces working on consumer sentiment at this point. You’ve got obviously concerns about Europe, the economy in general, lower stock prices — all those are a negative,” Scott J. Brown, chief economist at Raymond James in St. Petersburg, Fla., told Reuters News. “But lower gasoline prices are a plus, so I think that’s probably part of the factor that you’ll see an increase in purchasing power if gasoline prices continue to move down.” Source: “May Consumer Sentiment Highest in More Than 4 Years,” Reuters (May 25, 2012)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Type your comment here.