Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


While you were sleeping: Americans grow more confident

While you were sleeping: Americans grow more confident

Nov. 28 (BusinessDesk) – US consumer confidence rose to a four-year high this month adding to evidence from Thanksgiving weekend retail sales that suggests Americans are shaking off their torpor.

The Conference Board’s confidence index rose to 73.7, beating the estimate in a Bloomberg survey of 73 to reach the highest level since February 2008.

Key to improving sentiment may be perceptions that jobs will be easier to find over the next six months, a relief in a nation where unemployment is 7.9 percent and where the Congress is running out of time to address the fiscal cliff which threatens to stall the economy.

Those expecting more jobs in the next six months rose to a 21-month-high on 20.3, the survey showed, about double the reading for those who thought there were plenty of jobs now.

Americans felt confident enough to hit the stores in the four days starting on Thanksgiving Day, with retail spending – including online shopping – rising 13 percent to US$59.1 billion, according to the National Retail Federation. In the same period a year ago, sales grew 16 percent.

Remarkably, the Conference Board survey showed those planning to buy a house in the next six months rose to a record 6.9 percent. And in another sign of life returning to the US housing market, property values rose 0.3 percent in September, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city composite index, after a 0.8 percent gain in August. Values rose 3 percent from September 2011.

In other figures, orders for durable goods were little changed in October and some manufacturers noted increased demand, according to the US Commerce Department. Economists had expected a decline.

Stocks on Wall Street registered a tepid response, paring earlier gains, but with investors eyes fixed firmly on Washington and the start of talks to bridge differences on the fiscal cliff of some US$600 billion in tax hikes and spending cuts set to kick in on Jan. 1

A CNN poll shows two-thirds of Americans surveyed fear the country will face severe economic difficulties if politicians in Washington can’t resolve their differences in time.

The greenback rose against most major currencies and the euro weakened from a one-month high after initially gaining on the decision of European finance ministers and the International Monetary Fund to rein in Greece’s debt.

Agreement to free up the next 34.4 billion euro installment of financial aid for Greece still needs sign off from Germany, Finland and the Netherlands next month and there are still plenty of hurdles on which the region can stumble.

“I’m a natural seller on euro here because giving Greece more money is not the solution to any problem -- it’s a band-aid at this stage,” Fabian Eliasson, head of U.S. currency sales at Mizuho Financial, told Bloomberg. “The market went fairly long euro before this so any kind of rattling news that something will jeopardize the deal, or further demands, is going to have a negative effect.”

Germany’s DAX 30 climbed 0.6 percent.

France’s CAC 40 was up just 0.03 percent after government figures showed French jobless claims rose by 1.5 percent, or 45,400, to 3.103 million, a 14-year high and a reminder that Europe’s slump runs deeper than just heavily indebted Greece.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Scoop Business: RBNZ Keeps OCR At 3.5%, Signals Slower Pace Of Future Hikes

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 3.5 percent and signalled he won’t be as aggressive with future rate hikes as previously thought as inflation remains tamer than expected. The kiwi dollar fell to a seven-month low. More>>

ALSO:

Weather: Dry Spells Take Hold In South Island

Many areas in the South Island are tracking towards record dry spells as relatively warm, dry weather that began in mid-August continues... for some South Island places, the current period of fine weather is quite rare. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Productivity Commission To Look At Housing Land Supply

The Productivity Commission is to expand on its housing affordability report with an investigation into improving land supply and development capacity, particularly in areas with strong population growth. More>>

ALSO:

Forestry: Man Charged After 2013 Death

Levin Police have arrested and charged a man with manslaughter in relation to the death of Lincoln Kidd who was killed during a tree felling operation on 19 December 2013. More>>

ALSO:

Smells Like Justice: Dairy Company Fined Over Odour

Dairy company fined over odour Dairy supply company Open Country Dairy Limited has been convicted and fined more than $35,000 for discharging objectionable odour from its Waharoa factory at the time of last year’s ”spring flush” when milk supply was high. More>>

Scoop Business: Dairy Product Prices Decline To Lowest Since July 2012

Dairy product prices dropped to the lowest level since July 2012 in the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction, led by a slump in rennet casein and butter milk powder. More>>

ALSO:

SOE Results: TVNZ Lifts Annual Profit 25% On Flat Ad Revenue, Quits Igloo

Television New Zealand, the state-owned broadcaster, lifted annual profit 25 percent, ahead of forecast and despite a dip in advertising revenue, while quitting its stake in the pay-TV Igloo joint venture with Sky Network Television. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus

Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news