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

 

Must Sell 20 Petrol Stations: Z Cleared To Buy Caltex Assets

Z Energy is allowed to buy the Caltex and Challenge! petrol station chains but must sell 19 of its retail sites and one truck-stop, the Commerce Commission has ruled in a split decision that acknowledges possible retail price coordination between fuel retailers occurs in some regions. More>>

ALSO:

Huntly: Genesis Extends Life Of Coal-Fuelled Power Station To 2022

Genesis Energy will keep its two coal and gas-fired units at Huntly Power Station operating until 2022, having previously said they'd be closed by 2018, after wringing a high price from other electricity generators who wanted to keep them as back-up. More>>

ALSO:

Dammed If You Do: Ruataniwha Irrigation Scheme Hits Farmer Uptake Targets

Enough Hawke's Bay farmers have signed up for water from the proposed Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme for it to go ahead as long as a cornerstone institutional capital investor can be found to back it, its regional council promoter announced. More>>

ALSO:

Reserve Bank: OCR Stays At 2.25%

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 2.25 percent, in a decision traders had said could go either way, while predicting inflation will pick up as the slump in oil prices washes out of the data and capacity pressures start to build in the economy. More>>

ALSO:

Export Values Down: NZ Posts Biggest Annual Trade Deficit In 7 Years

New Zealand has recorded its biggest annual trade deficit since April 2009, reflecting weaker prices of agricultural commodities such as dairy products, beef and lamb, and increased imports of vehicles and machinery. More>>

ALSO:

Currency Events: NZ's New $5 Note Wins International Banknote Award

New Zealand’s new Brighter Money $5 note has been named Banknote of the Year in a prestigious international competition. The $5 note was awarded the IBNS Banknote of the Year title at the International Bank Note Society’s annual meeting. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news