Economist: ‘Doing nothing is not an option’ for Congress

The University of Michigan and Thomson Reuters Consumer Confidence Index rose to 64.1 in the final reading for November, the highest reading since June.
The index rose from 60.9 in October.
The sentiment gauge, which covers how consumers view their personal finances as well as business and buying conditions, averaged about 87 in the year before the start of the Great Recession.
Richard Curtin, chief economist for the survey, said, “What will translate a political riff into an economic calamity for many families is if the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits that are scheduled to expire at the end of December are not extended. Consumer confidence is now quite vulnerable to set-backs due to any number of adverse domestic and international economic developments. Doing nothing is not an option for Congress, the President, or the Federal Reserve since the lack of action will significantly raise the likelihood of a renewed recessionary downturn, which is already uncomfortably high.”
The number of first-time filings for unemployment insurance in Wisconsin climbed last week to 13,008 from 12,953 in the prior week, according to the latest figures released by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.

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