(Meagan Clark – IB Times)
Heading into the holiday shopping season, Americans are feeling more confident about their personal finances than at any time in the last seven years. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index rose from 86.9 in October to 88.8 this month, the highest since July 2007 and about 20% higher than this time last year.
Despite stagnant wages, economists say stronger employment growth, falling gasoline prices and stock prices at post-recession highs are cheering up consumers just before the start of holiday shopping. The confidence lift bodes well for economic growth in the final quarter of 2014, since consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of economic activity in the U.S. Read more here.