World

US consumer confidence rebounds in Dec

| Updated on: Jan 01, 2014

New York, Jan 1 US consumer confidence surged in December to nearly regain the levels before the Government shutdown in October, according to the leading monthly survey of consumer sentiment released on Tuesday.

The improvement amid the Christmas shopping season bodes well for retailers, whose performance is often dependent on year-end revenue. Consumer spending accounts for about 70 per cent of the 17-trillion-dollar US economy.

Consumer confidence index

The Conference Board, a New York-based business think tank, had said on Tuesday that this month’s survey, based on polling through December 17, showed its Consumer Confidence Index leaping to 78.1.

“Despite the many challenges throughout 2013, consumers are in better spirits today than when the year began,” Conference Board economist Lynn Franco said.

From 80.2 in September, the index had plunged in October and November to a seven-month low of 72, in the wake of the 16-day October shutdown of non-essential services by the federal government, before Congress resolved its budget stalemate.

1985 benchmark

The index is set to a 1985 benchmark of 100.

“Consumer confidence rebounded in December and is now close to pre-government shutdown levels,” Franco said.

Consumers were buoyed by “more favourable economic and labour-market conditions,” she said.

Third-quarter gross domestic product grew at an annualised 4.1 per cent, according to revised government estimates, the fastest pace in nearly two years.

Published on March 12, 2018

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