Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Consumer Confidence, Wall Street, And GMAC

Well according to the associated press, consumers confidence fell to an all time low this December. This comes on the heels of layoffs and deteriorating markets for housing, stocks, and other investments. Deepening job insecurity and falling asset prices are outweighing any optimism that consumers are having with the falling gas prices. With the unemployment rate hitting a 15 year high at 6.7% in November, economist are still not seeing an end in sight with more expected job losses in the first half of 2009. According to the Conference Board Surveys, there are more people right now that believe that the situation is bad than good.

However, nearing the end of a brutal 2008 Wall Street seems to be pointing to a higher open. With so many traders away for the holidays, the market has actually shown small moves in light volume in recent sessions. Investors though are waiting to see the mood of the holidays shoppers and their reluctance to spend to see what their best bets are. The holiday shopping season has been pretty dismal so far and that really has hurt Wall Street because consumer spending accounts for more than two thirds of the US economic activity.

Elsewhere, the government said that it would provide GMAC Financial Services with $5 billion to the funding arm of General Motors Corp. GMAC will receive this as a part of the $700 billion bank rescue plan that will help the company. The Treasury Department is also lending up to $1 billion to General Motors so that it can do a debt for equity swap with GMAC, which seeking to raise additional capital.

So Portland, with the new year fast approaching what are your thoughts on these current events and how they affect you moving forward? Please tell us what you think in the comments below.

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