A strengthening labor market and lower gasoline prices mean Americans have extra cash for the holidays. Some economists are forecasting the money will keep flowing into, and out of, consumers’ pockets next year.
Stronger demand for goods and services is prompting companies to hold the line on firings and expand headcount. Continued progress in the labor market will be needed to boost aggregate income and drive consumer spending, which accounts for almost 70 percent of the economy.
The Conference Board’s index decreased to 86 this month, weaker than the most pessimistic forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists, from an August reading of 93.4 that was the strongest since October 2007, the New York-based private research group said today.