Economic growth has been picking up for the last three months of the year; this has been caused by an increase in consumer spending, rising business stockpiles and relatively most increases in hiring.
Holiday shopping usually starts in November, and this year, it helped to produce the sixth straight monthly increase in retail sales. Americans who bought gifts this year spent more on clothing and electronics, and also on sales of autos and furniture.
However, will these increases last? Unemployment still remains high, and incomes are stagnant. Pay raises have been few and far between and consumers have constantly had to dip into their savings to finance their spending. Currently though, economic data is remaining encouraging that this increase could be sustainable. Job openings declined slightly in October, but they were still at the second highest level in three years.
Most analysts expect the economy to grow at an annual rate of at least 3 percent in the October-December quarter, up from 2 percent in the July-September period. More spending this year on retail goods is a good indicator that the economy is continuing to steadily grow.
An increase in furniture and auto sales suggested that consumers made more big purchases in November. A lot of people are deciding to spend their extra money in retail rather than in restaurants, which could be just the needed boost for the economy that is needed.
Each opening is sparking heavy competition; nearly 14 million people were unemployed in October, which is worse than the reporting of unemployment in September. Hopefully with the increase in consumer spending, more jobs will open leading to less unemployment in coming months.