Industry News

Consumer confidence edges upward

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Consumer confidence posted a strong gain in December, as consumers were more positive about overall economic prospects for the year ahead, according to the latest University of Michigan Survey of Consumers. "Consumers have shown a remarkable degree of resilience throughout the past year and as a consequence their behavior has added a good deal of stability to the overall economy," according to Richard Curtin, the director of the University of Michigan's Surveys of Consumers. Consumers have not become overly optimistic, however. "While consumers expect some improvement during the year ahead, they anticipate only modest increases in employment during 2005," Curtin said. Rather than indicating the start of a new upward surge in confidence, the December data simply confirms that confidence has remained largely unchanged at positive levels for the entire year. The index of consumer sentiment was 97.1 in the December 2004 survey, up from 92.8 in November and the 92.6 recorded last Decembe...