Consumers are feeling better about their prospects these days according to the latest surveys from the University of Michigan and the Conference Board. The University of Michigan consumer sentiment index rebounded from the dip in August when Standard & Poor’s lowered its rating on U.S. long-term debt and Congress seemed incapable of reaching an agreement to raise the debt ceiling, signaling the potential for a default. This was the fifth consecutive monthly increase, fueled by gains in both the present conditions and expectations components. The overall index is at its highest level since May.
The Conference Board index of consumer confidence mirrors the same trend, rising sharply in November and December from its recent low in October. The index is at its highest level since April.
The improving mood of consumers reflects the better tone of economic data over the last months of 2011, particularly the labor market. Expect the economy to move ahead in 2012, completing its third year of expansion in June.
Have a great weekend.
SVP, Chief Economist
Grubb & Ellis
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