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Consumer sentiment improves

BY Marianne Wilson

NEW YORK — U.S. consumer confidence rose more than forecast in December, to a six-month high, amid declining unemployment and lower gas prices. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index climbed to 69.9 from 64.1 at the end of November. The metric averaged 89 points in the five years leading up to the recession.

In other news. The Conference Board’s gauge of the outlook for the next three to six months rose a better-than-expected 0.5% after a 0.9% October increase. The median forecast of 54 economists surveyed by Bloomberg projected the gauge would advance 0.3%.

Also up was the University of Michigan’s survey of consumer expectations for six months from now, which rose to 63.6 in December, compared to 55.4 last month, marking the fourth straight gain and the biggest point increase in a single month since May.

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Report: Best Buy cancels some holiday online orders in 
New York

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK — Best Buy has informed some customers that it will not be able to fill their online orders, just days before Christmas, according to the Associated Press.

The chain said late Wednesday that "overwhelming” demand for some products from Bestbuy.com has led to a problem redeeming online orders made in November and December, the report said.

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Amazon to open two fulfillment centers in Virginia

BY CSA STAFF

RICHMOND, Va. — Amazon.com announced that it plans to open two fulfillment centers in Virginia, investing a total of $135 million. The company said it will invest $85 million and create more than 1,000 jobs in Chesterfield County, and invest $50 million in Dinwiddie County, creating more than 350 jobs.

“We look forward to opening two new Amazon facilities in the Richmond area next year, bringing tens of millions of dollars and hundreds of new jobs to the state,” said Dave Clark, VP Amazon North American Operations.

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