Consumer Comfort In U.S. Picks Up To A 7 Month High As Buying Climate Improves
By Elizabeth Dexheimer - Nov 29, 2012
Consumer confidence climbed to a seven-month high last week as more Americans said it was a good time to make purchases, pointing to a brighter holiday shopping season.
The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose to minus 33 in the period ended Nov. 25, the highest level since April, from minus 33.9 the previous week. It marked the highest level for a Thanksgiving week, when shoppers begin their year-end holiday gift buying, since before the recession began five years ago.
Expanded store hours combined with deals, discounts and online offers last week may have helped propel the share of Americans saying it’s a good time to spend to a seven-month high. Improving labor and housing markets will probably lift spirits further, benefiting retailers such as Target Corp. and Macy’s Inc. between now and the final shopping days before Christmas, the most important period of the year for retailers.
“Consumers started the holiday-shopping season their cheeriest since 2007, a hopeful sign for retailers in their make-or-break time of year,” said Gary Langer, president of Langer Research Associates in New York, which compiles the index for Bloomberg.