The Return of the Dollar and U.S. Consumer Confidence
The end of 2013 saw the U.S. dollar end higher versus the Euro and other major currencies when compared to the year prior. Due in part to an increase in U.S. consumer confidence and a job market that had its lowest unemployment figures since the shrinking of the economy began several years ago, U.S. households reported an overall improvement for 2013. While the U.S. stock market may not yet be totally bullish, and there are still pockets of the country that have not felt the benefits of an improving economy, 2013 on the whole was a year of recovery for households throughout America.
Indices Point to Continued Growth in the Future
The U.S. housing market saw a marked recovery in 2013, and homeowners who were looking to sell their homes benefited from this uptick in housing sales. Across the board, housing prices went up, and days on the market for houses went down. The S&P Case-Schiller Index saw a 13.5% increase in sale prices for homes in October alone, and that momentum was seen throughout much of the year. Speaking of the S&P, the index that tracks the largest 500 companies in America enjoyed a year of growth that was almost at 20%. Americans who invested in this attractive play were awarded with out-sized returns for what is normally a surefire investment. A decrease in foreclosures and a reduction of existing inventory in the housing market was a positive sign for home builders, and the number of new starts for the year was up dramatically from 2012.
Will there be an Increase of Spending in 2014 to Take the Market Even Higher?
With consumer confidence ending the year at 78.1, the U.S. household is more confident than they have been for the last six years. Economists and analysts are hoping that this will result in increased consumer spending in 2014, but that remains to be seen. If consumers pull out there cash and head to the stores with a little pent-up demand, then this could see 2014 turn into one of the finest markets since the end of the dot com boom. Whether this happens or not, 2013 saw the U.S. economy makes a strong recovery that has it poised to be one of the leading world actors in 2014.
Confidence is High and Let Us Hope that it remains that Way
In spite of all of the turmoil that took place on Capitol Hill, 2013 saw a recovery on Main Street as U.S. households were more positive on the economy then they had been since the housing collapse in 2007. 2014 is an unknown, yet many consumers remain optimistic.