Consumer spending down, but confidence is up
The levels of consumer spending fluctuate frequently throughout the year, as does their confidence. Retailers are able to look at this data to determine what to expect for their operations in the coming months. Recent research has revealed that while spending took a dip, confidence levels have reached a four-year high.
Bloomberg reports that according to the latest data from the U.S. Commerce Department, consumer purchases fell by 0.2 percent for the month of October, which economists believe was largely impacted by Hurricane Sandy. The decrease came after a 0.8 percent gain in spending for September. The drop is also being attributed to the uncertainty caused by the looming fiscal cliff, as Washington lawmakers continue their talks, the news source states.
On the other hand, American consumers are increasingly optimistic about both the nation's economy and their own financial conditions. According to the Conference Board, the level of confidence nationwide rose to its highest levels in four years during November, coming to 73.7. This is a slight increase from October's figure of 73.1. Businessweek reports. Economists state that this positive number means that spending will increase, further boosting recovery.