EUGENE, Ore. — Have you noticed a bump in your spending in the last month? Recent reports show an increase in Americans’ confidence in the economy.
The number is the highest it’s been in close to five years. Consumer confidence index is up from September, sitting at 72.2.
Several reports show U.S. consumers are growing more confident and spending more. They say the confidence level is the highest it’s been since February 2008, two months into the recession.
Local economists weren’t surprised, listing a number of possible reasons for the boost.
“What I tend to see is they’re actually coming up to where spending actually is. I think they were too low to where spending actually was for a couple of years,” said Tim Duy, University of Oregon economist. “Job growth has not been spectacular but relatively steady over the last year if you average the ups and downs. Unemployment continues to fall,” Duy said.
There’s also the rise in stock and home prices. Analysts at WorkSource Lane say the national trend is reflected here in town.
“One of the biggest things that helps consumer confidence is people getting a job. And nationally and locally the labor market has been slowly improving,” said Brian Rooney, WorkSource Lane Regional Labor Economist.
“We sell children’s clothing, shoes and toys. So for me, I’m still reaping the benefits of back-to-school shopping still. You know still getting all that stuff. So these are actually pretty busy months,” said Alyce Harless, My Little Children Owner.
But not everyone feels the improvement.
“I think that everybody’s kind of holding their breath a little bit with the election coming. Discretionary spending, I don’t see a lot of people running out and buying,” said Tami Dean, Little Black Dress Owner.
Whatever their opinion folks agreed, this kind of information would factor into their vote.
“I think it will a lot…I think it will directly affect who they vote for. I know it’s going to affect who I vote for,” Dean said.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics says it will put out the jobs report Friday. Local economists say that’s another factor voters will likely take into account come Election Day.