News / USA

Survey Shows US Consumers Plan to Spend More During Holiday Season

Multimedia

There are more signs that American consumers are coming back as the key holiday shopping season gets underway.  Revised figures show the U.S. economy grew faster than initially reported during the third quarter, thanks in part to an uptick in consumer and government spending.  Retailers are hoping consumers will continue spending as the traditional holiday shopping season begins in the U.S.   

Americans celebrating their country's annual Thanksgiving holiday have more to be thankful for this year.
A flurry of new economic reports shows that Americans earned more and spent more last month - while the number of people applying for unemployment benefits fell to its lowest level in two years.
A new survey by the Consumer Federation of America backs up the latest government data.
Executive Director Stephen Brobeck says Americans are less stressed than they were this time last year.

"The most encouraging finding to me is that significantly fewer said their financial condition worsened during the year with only 8 percent reporting that it was much worse," said Brobeck. "That was down from 14 percent in 2009."

That's good news for retailers as the holiday shopping season kicks off leading up to Christmas. The season is a make or break month for retailers, often accounting for as much as 40 percent of their yearly profits.  Mike Schenk, a vice president with Credit Union National Association, expects a modest improvement in consumer sentiment as 2010 comes to a close.

"Fifty-seven percent say they will spend as much or more than they spent last year," said Schenk. "That's a three percent increase more from survey results last year."

Consumer spending is the biggest driver of the U.S. economy, accounting for about 70 percent of total output.  Despite modest increases in the last three months, revised figures show the economy grew at a tepid 2.5 percent in the third quarter.  Economists say the economy needs to expand at least 5 percent each year to reduce the nation's high unemployment rate by just 1 percent.  

"The bottom line: economic uncertainty, weak labor markets and heavy debt loads will have consumers spending very, very cautiously this year,"said Schenk.

Unemployment remains stuck at 9.6 percent.  And it's not expected to decline very much next year.  Still, the drop in first time claims and the uptick in consumer spending was enough to cheer investors.

Stock prices traded sharply higher Wednesday. The New York Stock Exchange closes for the Thanksgiving  holiday on Thursday.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Audio Top 5 Songs for Week Ending May 23

This week's lineup can be summed up like this: 'It's The Same Old Song' - but they're great songs - featuring Walk The Moon, The Weeknd, Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmakingi
X
Bernard Shusman
May 24, 2015 2:55 PM
According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.
Video

Video Effort Underway to Limit Damage from California Oil Spill

Cleanup crews are working around the clock to remove oil from the waters off the coastal city of Santa Barbara, in California. About 380,000 liters of oil may have leaked out before a rupture in an onshore, underground pipeline was discovered Tuesday. The environmental disaster hit the popular West Coast resort area before the Memorial Day weekend. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports investigators have yet to determine what caused the incident.

VOA Blogs