Consumer Confidence, Spending, GDP

Home Depot to hire 60,000 workers as consumer confidence climbs

Posted on Thursday, February 17, 2011

February brings new evidence, that for the first time since the economy tanked there is reason to believe a turnaround is happening.
A recent Siena College poll shows plans to buy cars, furniture, and homes are all about at the highest level in more than three years. And people who already own their homes are looking at investing in it, nearly 17% say they are planning on a major home improvement project in the coming months.
Eric Wiehenstroer says he's feeling better about the economy, so he's starting to spend again. "I just ordered windows, I got 17 windows to put in, and I'm doing it all myself."
Home Depot will see a lot of customers investing in their homes the next few months and that spending is key to jump starting the job market. The store is gearing up for Spring, it's busiest season of the year, and hiring 60,000 workers nationwide. For the second year in a row, it's also adding more permanent positions, which could mean up to 50 jobs locally.
The same Siena Poll also shows people are spending more on home improvements. "We have a lot of people shifting from coming in and buying fixer-up type items to moving back into buying kitchens and doing bathroom remodels and doing larger projects. So it definitely seems like consumer confidence is up," said Home Depot Manager Rick Borczuk.
The Siena poll finds consumer confidence is at a 3-year high. "The willingness to spend jumped nearly eleven points in January, the single largest monthly spike in Siena's twelve years tracking consumer sentiment," according to Dr. Doug Lonnstrom, professor of statistics and finance at Siena College and SRI Founding Director.
Central New Yorkers are optimistic that confidence will continue to climb. "I think it's going to get better, it's just going to take time," said Brian Wolf.
"I think things are going to brighten up, and the economy is going to come through
by Caitlin Nuclo, CNY CENTRAL

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