Christmas consumer confidence didn’t last long

Micaela Cashman

In December 2007, New York-based research firm Conference Board, Inc. reported consumer confidence was at 96.8 percent. This was during the country’s last economic expansion.

Since then, consumer confidence has decreased to 52.5 percent.

In November 2010, consumer confidence was reported at 54.3 percent, but that dropped in December possibly due to reality setting in after people got their credit card bills from November.

Retail sales rose 4.8 percent the week of Christmas. Researchers accredited this to shoppers having Christmas Eve off from work and using the day to shop. 

This rise in sales was greater than that of last year’s holiday season, which researchers blamed on rough snowstorms hitting all parts of the nation at the time.

Fast Facts

  • 20 percent of Americans plan on returning at least one gift —Consumer Reports
  • The retail industry will lose about $3.63 billion due to return fraud — National Retail Federation
  • 23 million people shopped on Christmas Eve — International Council of Shopping Centers
  • 43 percent of people planned on making a purchase Dec. 26 —American Express Spending and Saving Tracker
  • Retail spending rose by 5.5 percent in the 50 days before Christmas — MasterCard Advisors Spending Pulse