Consumer Confidence Index surges
Americans are gaining faith that the economy is on the upswing. The monthly Consumer Confidence Index surged to the highest level since April and is approaching a post-recession peak. The New York-based Conference Board says that its Consumer Confidence Index rose almost 10 points to 64.5, up from a revised 55.2 in November; analysts had expected 59. The level is close to the post-recession peak of 72, which the index reached in February. The surge in December builds on another big increase in November, when the index rose almost 15 points from the month before. The report comes on the heels of an Associated Press survey of leading economists that says the U.S. economy will grow faster in 2012 as long as it isn't knocked off track by upheavals in Europe. Improving confidence is in line with retail reports of a decent holiday shopping season. Economists watch the confidence numbers closely because consumer spending—including items like health care—accounts for about 70% of U.S. economic activity. Still, the December confidence reading is below the 90 level that indicates an economy on solid footing. Analysts are cautious about whether the gains are the start of something more sustainable. To read the full story, click here. And to read more about the AP survey of economists on their 2012 forecasts, click here.
Today's poll question: Do you think the U.S. economy will see better growth in 2012 than it did this year?
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