Consumer Sentiment and the Economy Are on the Upswing

Consumer spending in November gave the economy a much needed boost.

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MSNBC is reporting that consumer spending, one of the economy's main engines, rose moderately in November, which was crucial for the holiday season. People's incomes grew, too, although the gains came from rising stock prices, not increases in wages and salaries. Consumer sentiment rose in December to its highest level since June. MSNBC reports, "The data releases today support our estimate that GDP growth probably accelerated to between 3.5 percent and 4.0 percent annualized in the fourth quarter," said Paul Ashworth, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics in Toronto. Unfortunately, none of it is quite enough to make a large dent in the 9.8 percent employment rate. Housing also remains a drag on the economy. Nonetheless, we'll celebrate the small victories; a boost to the economy at year's end is one of them.

Read more at MSNBC.