Industry News

Consumer confidence grows

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Consumer confidence posted modest gains in November despite high energy prices, rising interest rates and persistent concerns about job growth, according to the latest University of Michigan Survey of Consumers. "Consumers are both confident enough to spend more as well as cautious enough to save more in 2005," according to Richard Curtin, the director of the survey. Overall, the data indicate that real consumption spending will grow by 3.25 percent in 2005; the rate of saving out of disposable personal income will increase to 1.25 percent by the end of 2005, up from its all-time low of 0.4 percent in the third quarter of 2004. Consumers expected a slower overall pace of economic growth during 2005, and as a result anticipated only small additional declines in the national unemployment rate. "Despite the substantial gains in employment recorded in the past month, consumers are not yet convinced that the economy will produce significant job gains over a sustained period of time," Cu...