US consumer confidence rebounded in December after falling the previous month, though Americans remained dubious in their outlook for 2015, the Conference Board reported Tuesday.
The consumer confidence index rose to 92.6 from 88.7 in November, still shy of the year’s peak at 94.5 in October, but well up from 77.5 a year ago.
Consumers views of the current situation in the economy were fairly strong, but the outlook for the next half year dimmed, with the expectations sub-index dropping to 88.5 from 89.3.
There was little change in assessments of the jobs market, with only 17 percent of survey respondents calling jobs “plentiful.” Nearly the same proportion expects a gain in wages.
Consumer spending plans for the next half-year were slightly lower, especially for big-ticket items like homes and cars.
“Consumers were moderately less optimistic about the short-term outlook in December, but even so, they are more confident at year-end than they were at the beginning of the year,” said Lynn Franco, Conference Board director of indicators.
Wildfires rip through California wine country, thousands flee homes
Thousands of people were forced to flee their homes in California's Napa Valley Monday as wildfires ripped through the region's world-famous wine country.
Under an opaque orange sky, trees and vineyards were consumed and houses devastated by the fire that had burned its way over more than 11,000 acres (4,500 hectares) by Monday morning.
Some vineyards had already gone up in smoke, such as the Chateau Boswell Winery in the town of St Helena, while others, like Merus Wines and Davis Estates were under imminent threat from the fast-moving flames.
"I grabbed my neighbor. I wouldn't take 'no' for an answer," Lorraine Fuentez, of Calistoga told the San Francisco Chronicle, having fled with her elderly neighbor.
In the Deep South, Catholics split over Trump’s court pick
Some appreciate her devout faith. Others think her nomination should wait until after the presidential election.
Outside a church after Sunday mass in the deep south state of Mississippi, US Catholics were split on President Donald Trump's choice of Amy Coney Barrett for the US Supreme Court.
Country-wide, religious conservatives have roundly welcomed the choice of Barrett, who says her Catholic faith guides her approach to the law, to replace strident progressive Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the high court.
Hoping it will aid his reelection, Trump wants the Senate to quickly approve 48-year-old Barrett before the November 3 vote, tilting the court towards the right for possibly decades.
Georgia judge strikes down attempt to purge 14K voters in largely Black county
A Georgia judge on Monday halted an attempt to purge 14,000 voters from a county with a large Black population.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported that Fulton County Superior Court Jane Barwick dismissed a request from citizens that the county be forced to hold hearings on the status of 14,000 voters.
According to attorney Ray Smith, who represents the group of citizens, many of the voters in the county do not live at the address where they are registered. Smith claimed to have boxes of affidavits from registered voters.