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New figures suggest restoring of faith in economy

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: New figures suggest restoring of faith in economy
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Faith in the market could be growing as new employment numbers show signs of improvement. At the same time, researchers say consumer confidence has reached a five year high. YNN's Lori Chung reports.

ALBANY, N.Y. -- "I said 'boy this has got to have a bad effect on consumer confidence' and lo and behold these are virtually all positive numbers," said Dr. Douglas Lonnstrom.

Siena Research Institute's latest report shows that despite the devastation from superstorm Sandy and worries that the nation might fall over the fiscal cliff, people are still planning to spend money over the next six months.

"We ask about computers, which is now the highest it's been since 2004. Furniture and cars? Buying plans are the highest they've been since 2007," said Lonnstrom, the institute's founding director.

The nation's consumer sentiment is up to 82.7 with the index posting bigger month to month gains in New York. Lonnstrom says the now-settled president election has helped calm fears about the future.

"Even those who did not like President Obama, I think they now know he's going to be the president for the next four years so [they're saying] 'I know what I have to deal with, so let's move on'."

But, in evaluating whether enough people will have jobs to earn money to spend, new labor figures show unemployment down to 7.7 percent. Jobs Expert Dan Moran says it's not time to celebrate yet.

"The good news is it came down," said Moran. "The bad news is about 400,000 people fell off the job market and they're no longer counted as unemployed."

The economy did add 146,000 jobs in November, a figure the White House is holding up as proof that the nation is on the right track. But, Moran says it's slow going.

"It's not that black and white, and at best it's a tepid recovery."

And, as the holiday season goes into full swing, the economy may hold a glimmer of promise for job seekers. But with consumers shelling out cash, it seems retailers will have the most to be thankful for.

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