Consumer confidence rose in December amid record holiday sales, strong job gains: survey

Consumer confidence rose in December amid record holiday sales, strong job gains: survey
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U.S. consumer confidence rose in December amid a November hiring surge and strong holiday sales, according to survey results released Wednesday.

The Refinitiv/Ipsos Primary Consumer Sentiment Index, a gauge of American economic optimism, rose to 63.4 in December, 1.2 point increase from November’s reading. 

The public opinion and analysis firms reported increases in consumer’s confidence in the current state of the economy, the job market, investments and expectations for the future. 

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“The low and steady unemployment rate appears to have bolstered consumer confidence in the United States," said Ipsos vice president Chris Jackson, citing a “greater sense of job security, as well as renewed optimism in the strength of our personal finances.”

Consumer confidence rose through the end of 2019 as trade tensions between the U.S. and China eased and fears of an impending recession faded after a volatile summer. A strong November gain of 256,000 jobs helped lay the groundwork for record holiday spending, followed by a solid addition of 145,000 jobs in December.

“Consumer spending was healthy during the holiday season, and bodes well going into 2020,” said Jharonne Martis, director of consumer research at Refinitiv.

The U.S. economy has extended more than a decade of record-breaking economic growth into the new year, fueled by a resilient job market and consumer spending. The unemployment rate sank to 3.5 percent in 2019 for the first time in more than five decades, and spent the entire year at or below 4 percent.

A solid economy is seen as a crucial benefit for President TrumpDonald John TrumpLev Parnas implicates Rick Perry, says Giuliani had him pressure Ukraine to announce Biden probe Saudi Arabia paid 0 million for cost of US troops in area Parnas claims ex-Trump attorney visited him in jail, asked him to sacrifice himself for president MORE as he faces a difficult reelection bid. The president aims to use a strong job market to woo swing voters away from his eventual Democratic challenger.