National / International News
Investors in Europe have been moving their portfolios away from risk in the day since it became clear a new general election will occur in Greece in the coming weeks. More on that. Plus, the last snapshot of American consumer confidence for the year came out today. Consumer Confidence rose from November to December. We have context on those statistics. And we'll also talk about the current state of manufacturing jobs in the U.S.
An Indonesian navy spokesman told reporters a ship had recovered dozens of bodies. AirAsia said Indonesia had confirmed the wreckage was that of the Airbus carrying 162 people.
“People expect the economy to improve, and their personal finances to improve,” says economist Chris Christopher of IHS Global Insight.
The stock market has recently hit highs, boosting higher-income households, many of which have regained and surpassed their level of wealth before the recession. But middle-income households remain in the red, on average, since the recession. Long-term unemployment is still stubbornly high, wages are barely outpacing inflation, and millions of workers have dropped out of the labor force altogether.
But Bernie Baumohl of the Economic Outlook Group says the overall economic picture is still overwhelmingly favorable: “We’ve got the best job growth that we’ve seen in 14 years. Companies as well as consumers are benefiting from lower gas prices, and from the lowest borrowing costs in history.” Baumohl still cautions that until the global economy gets healthy again and U.S. trading partners rebound, U.S. companies might not feel optimistic enough to go on a big hiring spree or raise wages.