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Consumers Shrugging Off Financial Woes For The Holidays [AUDIO]

Matthew White, Townsquare Media

We’re feeling better about the economy these days. Consumer confidence rose to its highest level since July according to the Conference Board.

The Consumer Confidence Index rose 15 points to 56, up from a revised 40.9 in October. Economist Ken Goldstein of the Conference Board believes concerns over another recession have faded.

“Some of that more severe pessimism, almost depression, has lifted,” said Goldstein. “With that, we’re starting to see a little bit of consumer activity.”

Despite the numbers, it could be a bleak economic winter. “Right now, consumers feel like they’ve waited long enough and now that the economy no longer appears to be sinking, they’re opening their wallets a little bit to enjoy the holidays,” said Goldstein. “Part of what consumers are doing is dipping into savings, but that’s a short term solution and that will not continue post holidays.”

“If there is good news on the jobs front and good news when it comes to wages, confidence in the economy will continue to improve,” said Goldstein. “But, if that isn’t the case, I believe spending will tone down a bit and consumers will start reeling it back in as many people don’t have the income to match the amount they’re spending.”

In July, the Consumer Confidence Index was 59.2. This month’s 15 point jump was the biggest since may 2009 when there was a 14 percent increase. A reading of 90 indicates the economy is on solid footing. Economists watch the number closely because consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of economic activity.

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