In this Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012, photo, a sign advertising a sale is seen posted on a storefront in Philadelphia. A flurry of reports released Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, showed that U.S. consumers are growing more confident and spending more, boosting a still-weak economy just five days before the presidential election. Consumer confidence surged in October to its highest level in nearly five years. Americans were encouraged by recent declines in the unemployment rate. And they responded by spending more on cars and trucks, at retail businesses and on goods produced at U.S. factories. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
WASHINGTON (AP) — A flurry of data issued Thursday sketched a brightening view of the U.S. economy in the final days before a presidential election that will pivot on the strength of the recovery.
Cheaper gas, rising home prices and lower unemployment have given consumers the confidence to spend more. And retailers, auto dealers and manufacturers are benefiting.
At the same time, many employers remain anxious about the economy, which is why only modest hiring gains are forecast for Login to read more