December 23, 2013

Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan: Confidence Improves

ANN ARBOR. Consumer confidence rebounded among households with incomes less than $75,000 in December; higher income households reported the same sized gains in the November survey. By mid December, no additional gains were reported by either group. While the end of the government shutdown did ease concerns about the economy, it did not generate any more confidence in the government’s economic policies. Most of the gain reflected more favorable buying plans due to renewed discounting as well as more favorable short-term prospects for the economy. Buying attitudes toward homes, vehicles, and household durable goods all improved in December. Personal finances, the most critical factor that shapes consumer spending, did slightly improve in December, although largely due to rising values of homes and stock holdings among those in the top third of the income distribution.

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