U.S. consumers appear to be more interested in seeing their retirement accounts get fatter than the ongoing push in Washington to impeach President Trump.
“Nearly all of the early December gain was among upper-income households, who also reported near-record gains in household wealth, largely due to increased stock prices,” Richard Curtin, Surveys of Consumers chief economist, wrote in the report, adding that “virtually no consumer spontaneously mentioned impeachment” when responding to the survey.
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The University of Michigan’s preliminary consumer sentiment reading for December rebounded to 99.2 in December, from 96.8 last month. A gauge of current conditions hit 115.2, the best in a year, while the consumer expectations index rose to 88.9, the highest in five months. The results followed the strong jobs report, which showed hiring surged in November, pushing the unemployment rate to a 50-year low of 3.5 percent.
The survey, which has averaged 97.0 over the past three years, the highest since the record high set by the Clinton administration, underscores the confidence of the U.S. consumer as the holiday shopping season kicks into high gear.
The National Retail Federation expects holiday sales to reach $730.7 billion in 2019, up 4.2 percent from a year ago.
Through Cyber Monday, U.S. shoppers have spent $81.5 billion during the holiday shopping season, which officially began on Nov. 1, according to Adobe Analytics, which measures transactions from 80 of the top 100 online retailers.
Cyber Monday sales hit a record $9.4 billion this year, up 19.7 versus 2018, Adobe said. The previous Cyber Monday record of almost $8 billion was set last year.
That followed a strong Black Friday, which saw shoppers spend a record-breaking $7.4 billion online, and Small Business Saturday, which smashed records with $3.6 billion in online sales.
“The U.S. consumer is in a really good place and the U.S. consumer is the main driver of this economy," Mohamed El-Erian, chief economic adviser at Allianz Global Investors told FOX Business' Maria Bartiromo on Monday.
FOX Business’ Megan Henney and Daniella Genovese contributed to this report.