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US consumer confidence rises for fourth month to highest level in nearly

US consumer confidence rises for fourth month to highest level in nearly 7 years by Christopher S. Rugaber, The Associated Press Posted Aug 26, 2014 8:47 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email WASHINGTON – U.S. consumer confidence this month reached its highest point in nearly seven years, boosted by strong job gains.The Conference Board said Tuesday that its confidence index rose for a fourth straight month to 92.4 from 90.3 in July. The August reading is the highest since October 2007, two months before the Great Recession officially began.The optimism suggests that Americans will be more likely to spend in the months ahead, an important boost to the economy. Consumer spending drives about 70 per cent of U.S. economic activity.“The rise in confidence adds to other evidence that the U.S. economy is going from strength to strength,” said Paul Dales, an economist at Capital Economics.The survey found that Americans’ outlook on the job market brightened considerably. The percentage of respondents who said jobs were “plentiful” rose to 18.2 per cent from 15.6 per cent in July. That’s the highest level since 2008. Consumers’ perceptions generally track the unemployment rate over time.Steady and solid hiring this year has provided more Americans with paychecks to spend. Employers have added an average of 230,000 jobs a month this year, up from about 195,000 a month in 2013. Average monthly job gains since February have produced the best six-month stretch since 2006.The unemployment rate ticked up to 6.2 per cent in July from 6.1 per cent in June. But that was because more Americans began looking for work. Most didn’t immediately find jobs, but the increase in people looking for work suggests that they are more confident about their prospects.Lower gasoline prices have also likely helped. The average price of a gallon of gas nationwide Monday was $3.44, the lowest in nearly six months, according to AAA. That leaves Americans with more money to spend on other goods and services. This month, the percentage of Americans who said they plan to buy a car reached its highest level in five months.Confidence bottomed during the Great Recession in February 2009 at 25.3 before beginning an upward swing. While the index still hasn’t returned to full health, it is well above last year’s average of 72.3. In the 20 years before the downturn, the index averaged nearly 102. read more

RollsRoyce expands leather shop thanks to ongoing success

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has announced that the company’s leather shop has been expanded following the continued success of the Phantom, Ghost and newly-launched Wraith. An additional 10 positions in the machinist team have been created as a result.The machinist team was launched with just four people in 2002, the West Sussex-based leather shop currently employs 40 skilled associates working across two shifts. The team also hosts interns, apprentices and graduates during their time at the company.Andrew Monachan, General Manager Leather Shop, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, said, “I am delighted to confirm that we have expanded our leather shop here at the home of Rolls-Royce. Every one of our cars is hand built to order and we are reintroducing craft skills that, in many cases, would otherwise have lain dormant or been lost completely.”Potential candidates should have suitable skills but do not need to currently be working as a machinist. Skills gained in a previous role or as a hobbyist could be appropriate and full and extensive training will be provided. Potential candidates for all Rolls-Royce Motor Cars positions should apply online at: www.rolls-roycemotorcars.com/careersClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) read more