Nov. 27 - There are mixed signals on the mood of the consumer on the eve of the busiest shopping season of the year. Conway G. Gittens reports.
Not all shoppers are feeling equal with the holiday rush set to begin. Consumer sentiment rose to a final reading of 75.1 in November, according to Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan. But the survey shows the more you have, the better you feel. Wealthier Americans are more upbeat and are ready to spend thanks to record stock prices, low interest rates, and higher real estate values. But sentiment among lower to middle income earners is lagging with a lackluster job market making pay raises harder to come by. A drop in the Conference Board's consumer confidence reading earlier this week largely reflected that mood. And that has retailers concerned that they may have to discount heavily and still end up with just a ho-hum Christmas.