U.S. consumer confidence improves further in December

Shoppers browse in a supermarket while wearing masks in St Louis
Shoppers browse in a supermarket while wearing masks to help slow the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in north St. Louis, Missouri, U.S. April 4, 2020.
REUTERS/Lawrence Bryant

U.S. consumer confidence improved further in December, suggesting the economy would continue to expand in 2022 despite a resurgence in COVID-19 infections and reduced fiscal stimulus.

The Conference Board said on Wednesday its consumer confidence index increased to a reading of 115.8 this month from an upwardly revised 111.9 in November. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the index rising to 110.8 from the previously reported reading of 109.5 in November.

The nation is experiencing an explosion in COVID-19 infections, driven by the Delta and highly contagious Omicron variants, which could hamper economic activity in the first quarter.