Consumer confidence spikes, boosting holiday shopping season - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Consumer confidence spikes, boosting holiday shopping season

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

New numbers out show U.S. consumer confidence is at a five year high. What behind the increase?

A better outlook for hiring over the next six months.

Experts say the confidence could translate into a more robust holiday shopping season.

Carmen Ellis, a co-owner of The Boulevard at SouthEnd, said their season is off to a impressive start.

"We're definitely seeing it," she said. "Black Friday we have tripled our sales since last year and Small Business Saturday we did 50 percent better." 

Ellis is also expecting the increase in sales to last through the holiday season, something experts agree with.

"We hope it will," she said. We're seeing regular customers now who are coming back again and again."

Experts also said Americans are growing more optimistic because they see the job market improving.

The numbers back it up here in Mecklenburg County where the unemployment rate dropped to 8.7 percent down from more than 10 percent a year ago.

Shoppers like Raeniece Wilkerson feel it too. 

She told us about her best Black Friday deal saying, "a flat screen 32 inch for 97 dollars. The line was wrapped around the corner but it was worth it."

Wilkerson recently went into business for herself and said more people shopping is a sign that they're finances are stabilizing.

"People are pretty much maintaining better than they were because there was a time when we couldn't go shopping," she said. "Because it was like pay your bills or go shopping. And what are you gonna do first? Pay your bills."

A little perspective on the new level of the consumer confidence index. It currently sits around 73.7 but a level of 90 is consistent with a healthy economy. However, it's much higher than the all time low of 25 it reached in 2009.

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