COLUMBIA – Small business owners confirmed reports of strong consumer confidence in the economy after the Conference Board released the latest confidence index. The Conference Board is an independent group that conducts a monthly consumer confidence survey.
“I think traditionally, Columbia has been great for local businesses,” said local business owner Gabe Garcia. “Businesses thrive here. So, I can only imagine that if it is a growing trend nationwide, it would benefit everyone here.”
According to The Conference Board, the confidence index currently stands at 113.7 since increasing from 109.4 in November. The index is based on random sampling of consumers and what they buy.
“Consumer Confidence improved further in December, due solely to increasing expectations which hit a 13-year high (Dec. 2003, 107.4),” said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators for The Conference Board, in a released statement.
Chris Dixson, a long-time Columbia resident, said local infrastructure allows the economy to thrive.
“With our education, our hospitals and all the business that we have here, it makes it pretty easy to keep all those jobs around at the local level,” Dixson said.
Despite positive growth in the confidence of the economy, The Conference Board announced consumers views of current conditions show a decline.
“Consumers’ assessment of current conditions, which declined, still suggests that economic growth continued through the final months of 2016. Looking ahead to 2017, consumers’ continued optimism will depend on whether or not their expectations are realized,” Franco said in a release.
Garcia said he is confident business owners will have a good start to 2017.
“I think Columbia is good to businesses big and small. So, I think that if the trends are telling us that it’s doing good for the whole country, then I think we will thrive,” Garcia said.