Consumers

The present and future confidence gap

Data: The Conference Board; Chart: Axios Visuals

The difference between Americans' views of their current situation and their expectations for the future continues to grow.

The state of play: The Conference Board's December consumer confidence report showed a 3.4 point rise in consumers' assessment of their present situation, and a 3-point decline in their expectations for the future.

Go deeper: Consumers are picking up the lagging business sector's slack

A record for out-of-store spending

Illustration of a credit card as a shopping cart
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Americans are now spending nearly as much money remotely as they are in person.

Why it matters: It's a nod to the e-commerce boom, where corporate giants like Amazon and other businesses that bulked up their online presence are cashing in like never before.