Deloitte spending index sees an increase

Keeping control of their personal finances has become more important for many consumers, though recent numbers indicate the economic situation may be improving.

Deloitte recently reported that its Consumer Spending Index rose again in November, hitting a level that hasn’t been seen since 2004. According to the firm, the index increased from 4.25 to 4.63 percent. The purpose of the index is to track the funds available to consumers, which could be a forecast of future spending.

“Real earnings remain on the rise due to falling prices while the housing market continues to show signs of stabilizing,” Carl Steidtmann, chief economist with Deloitte Research, said.

Furthermore, a drop in unemployment claims helped increase the index for the month. However, the most recent numbers from the U.S. Department of Labor show that unemployment claims increased by 17,000.

On a monthly basis, unemployment dropped from 10.2 to 10 percent for November, though many analysts predict it will remain at or above 10 percent for much of 2010.