Dec Consumer Confidence at 52.5 was below estimates of 56.3 and down from 54.3 in Nov. Both the Present Situation and Future Expectation components fell. While we’ve seen signs of a better labor market, especially with initial jobless claims of late, the improvement was not very evident in today’s data. Those that said jobs were Plentiful fell to 3.9 from 4.3 and those that said jobs were Hard to Get rose .5 pt to 46.8, the highest since Feb. Positively, those that said Business Conditions were Normal rose to a high in this recovery but things were not incrementally better as those that said things were Good fell to the lowest since Feb. Those that plan to buy a home rose .1 pt but remained punk at near the lowest since ’82. Those that plan to buy a car fell to a 6 month low. One yr inflation expectations rose .2% to 5.3%, the most since May. Bottom line, a blah report but consumers took out their wallets this holiday season anyway.
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