U.S. consumer confidence rises in December 2016

Consumer confidence increased in December 2016 as older consumers were more optimistic about economic and employment conditions after the presidential election, according to The Conference Board.

The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index rose to 113.7 in December 2016 from 109.4 in November 2016. A reading of 90 or higher indicates a healthy economy.

The index measures how shoppers feel about business conditions, the job market and the next six months. Economists watch the index closely because consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of economic activity and is a crucial part of a strong rebound.

Those expecting business conditions to improve during the next six months increased from 16.4 percent to 23.6 percent, and those expecting business conditions to worsen fell from 9.9 percent to 8.7 percent.

Additionally, 21 percent expect more jobs during the next six months compared with 16.1 percent in November 2016. Those expecting fewer jobs increased from 13.5 percent to 14 percent.

"Consumer Confidence improved further in December, due solely to increasing expectations, which hit a 13-year high," says Lynn Franco, The Conference Board's director of economic indicators. "The post-election surge in optimism for the economy, jobs and income prospects, as well as for stock prices, which reached a 13-year high, was most pronounced among older consumers. Consumers' assessment of current conditions, which declined, still suggests that economic growth continued through the final months of 2016. Looking ahead to 2017, consumers' continued optimism will depend on whether or not their expectations are realized."

Date : 1/9/2017