Economic data published Wednesday shows the U.S. economy benefiting from better Internet commerce, improving auto sales, and some possible gains in the job market.
A company that tracks Internet activity says online retail sales jumped 16 percent last week over the same period a year earlier.
Comscore says ecommerce has been strong for the important holiday shopping season that is now drawing to an end.
A separate report says U.S. auto sales probably will rise by 1.2 million for 2011 to hit 12.8 million. That would make it the best year since 2008. The study by TrueCar.com also predicts next year will see more sales gains.
Still another economic report says nearly one out of four U.S. employers plans to hire more workers next year, while less than one in 10 expects to cut jobs.
The study by Careerbuilder predicts that companies probably will do more hiring next year than they did in 2011.