Consumer Confidence Up With 2012 On Horizon

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Are you planning to go out and celebrate New Year’s Eve, or stay home and save money? This month’s Consumer Confidence Survey says more of us may be feeling like a bigger party this year compared to last.

For the second month in a row, consumers are more optimistic about business, jobs and their financial situations.

When people spend money, the economy improves.

“I’m gonna go out in downtown Minneapolis, with my family. It should be really fun,” said Jessica Spaulding, who is visiting Minnesota from New York. “I think every year you kind of watch, around New Year’s, your budget and try to plan accordingly.”

Like Jessica, lots of consumers are feeling better as 2011 comes to an end.

In November, 13.9 percent of people interviewed said business conditions were good. That number is up to 16.6 percent in December.

The Hilton Hotel in downtown Minneapolis has 821 guest rooms and all are reserved for New Year’s Eve. That’s good for what the hospitality industry calls “spend.”

“We’re seeing ‘spend,’ more spend in food and beverage, and other services around the hotel. So definitely we’ll require more team members to be hired,” said Hilton General Manager John Luke.

Job creation also improves consumer confidence. When asked if things will continue to improve over the next six months, 16.7 percent of those surveyed in December said yes, up from 13.7 percent last month.

Patricia Erskine works in the travel industry and she says people are on the move.

“They may not necessarily stay at the five-star hotels, but they will still try and stay in good hotels and get good deals, so things are getting better, definitely,” she said.

The Consumer Confidence survey also says more people expect employment to improve in 20-12, and fewer people think jobs will be lost.

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