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North American consumer confidence is still strong

Staff writer |
U.S. consumer confidence decreased two index points in the fourth quarter to a score of 106, the first decline in 2014, but a 12-point improvement from the previous year. Confidence also declined in Canada, falling one point to an index level of 102 from the previous quarter, according to a new study by Nielsen, a global provider of information and insights into what consumers watch and buy.

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While all U.S. consumer confidence indicators decreased slightly in the fourth quarter, there were significant year-over-year improvements: Job prospect confidence increased 13 percentage points to 50%, personal finance confidence increased six percentage points to 64% and the percentage of respondents who believe now is a good time to spend increased nine percentage points to 52%, from fourth-quarter 2013.

"Despite the most recent declines in the U.S. for job prospects and personal finances, consumers appear to be more upbeat than other regions going into 2015," said Keely. "Declining unemployment, falling oil prices and the continued low interest rates together place consumers in the world's largest economy in a better position to spend than in recent years."

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