Consumer Confidence on the Rise?

By: Tyler Helms
By: Tyler Helms

That confidence is also being aided by the world's oil leaders who have decided to increase production to help relieve prices at the pump.

A few weeks ago things looked grim. Gas prices soaring above $2.00 a gallon in 43 percent of U.S. counties. Combine those rising prices with a still struggling job market and you have a somewhat volatile economy in the U.S., but news Thursday has led to a glimmer of hope Friday.

OPEC, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, has decided to increase production by two billion barrels a day starting July 1. The goal is to stabilize the market. But some experts say conflicts overseas must calm down first.

"We estimate that there is about a $10 premium on the price of crude oil that has nothing to do with supply/demand fundamentals, but has to do with perception. That has to do with fear. That has to do with speculation," said Adel Al-Junabeir, Saudi Foreign Advisor.

But prices reveal OPEC's decision may be working. Prices at the pump have fallen several cents in just the past day. Signaling consumer confidence might be back up. Even more telling of that consumer confidence is a new report Friday, signaling more jobs created in the U.S.

"Today's job report means good things for the U.S. It means the economy is growing fast and the economy is growing stronger," said President Bush.

In the past three months, 1 million jobs have been added nationwide. The national unemployment rate is averaging at 5.6 percent. Mississippi's is below that average at five percent, while Alabama's is slightly above average at 5.8 percent.

Labor experts say the handover in Iraq, set for June 30, is restoring and boosting consumer confidence, but while these numbers are down from a year ago, they might not stay that way.

Oil and jobs are very sensitive to supply. If either become too saturated, companies will begin to pull back, meaning prices at the pump will rise and the number of available jobs will fall.


WTOK-TV 815 23rd Ave Meridian, Ms. 39301 Phone: (601) 693-1441
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 813402