Consumer confidence at 5-year high, but ‘cliff’ looms

WASHINGTON — Consumer confidence held at a five-year high in November, but there were signs that concerns about the “fiscal cliff” are starting to weigh on sentiments.

The final November index of consumer sentiment stood at 82.7 based on the widely followed survey by Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan. That’s a notch above the 82.6 reading for October, but down from the 84.9 preliminary index earlier in November.

Details of the report released Wednesday showed consumers’ mood about current conditions brightened in November, most likely reflecting the improving housing market and gains in job growth in October.

But consumers were less upbeat about expectations for the future, signaling greater awareness and caution about a fiscal cliff of higher taxes and federal spending cuts at the start of next year, unless lawmakers take action to avert what most analysts believe will lead the nation into recession.

The latest report comes just two days before the traditional start of the holiday shopping season. Surveys suggest that the Christmas retail season will likely match last year’s performance, but sales could disappoint if consumers become increasingly nervous that the nation could go over the fiscal cliff.

—-

&Copy;2012 Los Angeles Times

Visit the Los Angeles Times at www.latimes.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

More in Herald Business Journal

Happy accident leads Edmonds couple to make Hunniwater drink

The latest line of energy drinks by Karin and Eric… Continue reading

Single payer is no panacea for our costly health care system

We must address the cost of health care before designing an insurance system.

Voters are on the sidelines as the port fills a vacant seat

Troy McClelland resigned from the Port of Everett commission too late for an election before 2019.

Career Fair planned next week at Tulalip Resort Casino

The Snohomish County Career Fair is planned from 10 a.m. to 2… Continue reading

American Farmland Trust president to speak in Mount Vernon

American Farmland Trust President John Piotti plans to give a talk about… Continue reading

In new setback, Uber to lose license to work in London

The company, beset by litany of scandals, was told it was not “fit and proper” to keep operating there.

Not home? Walmart wants to walk in and stock your fridge

The retailer is trying out the service with tech-savvy shoppers who have internet-connected locks.

Trade panel: Cheap imports hurt US solar industry

The ruling raises the possibility of tariffs that could double the price of solar panels.

Agent joins Re/Max in Smokey Point

Dennis Roland joined the Re/Max Elite Smokey Point office. The Navy veteran… Continue reading

Most Read