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U.S. Consumer Confidence Gets Post-Election Boost

Dec 28, 2016 9:58 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... U.S. post-election optimism boosted consumer confidence in December as expectations hit a 13-year high, according to the Conference Board.

The monthly consumer confidence index increased to 113.7 in December from 109.4 in November, the board said. A spike in the ‘expectations’ index to the highest level since December 2003 outweighed a weaker view of the present economic situation, the group explained.

“The post-election surge in optimism for the economy, jobs and income prospects, as well as for stock prices, was most pronounced among older consumers,” the board said. “Consumers’ assessment of current conditions, which declined, still suggests that economic growth continued through the final months of 2016.”

Online sales jumped 13 percent between November 1 and December 18, data from Comscore showed. Bricks-and-mortar sales also increased in the season’s climax, rising 6.5 percent in the week ending December 24, according to figures from RetailNext cited by Fortune.

Even so, the holiday season has lost some of its significance, with November and December now accounting for less than 21 percent of annual retail sales at physical stores as customers spread their buying out throughout the year, AP reported.

"It's no longer a seasonal business. It's a yearlong investment for the consumer,” the report cited Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at consumer research firm NPD Group, as saying.
Tags: comScore, conference board, consumer confidence, december, expectations’, Fortune, NPD Group, Rapaport News, retailnext
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