Consumer confidence hits new high in January
Retail customer trends and recent reports point to rising consumer confidence. According to The Conference Board's monthly Consumer Confidence Survey, Americans' confidence in the economy and business conditions rose in January for the second month in a row, reaching the highest point since August 2013. The Consumer Confidence Index rose from 77.5 percent in December to 80.7 percent this month, and the Present Situation Index increased to 79.1 percent from 75.3 percent.
"Consumers' assessment of the present situation continues to improve, with both business conditions and the job market rated more favorably," said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. "All in all, confidence appears to be back on track and rising expectations suggest the economy may pick up some momentum in the months ahead."
Higher confidence in the economy is good news for retailers, who also saw their sales increase over the last few months, Bloomberg News reported. The Department of Commerce Monthly Wholesale Trade report, released on January 10, showed that November sales were up 1.0 percent from October and 5.5 percent year-over-year. In addition to holiday shopping at the end of 2013, cold weather helped spur business because shoppers needed to buy warm outdoor clothing and other seasonal products, Bloomberg noted.
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