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Consumer confidence is on the rise, despite reports of rising inflation and increased COVID-19 case counts

The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index has shown Americans are looking ahead to the economy's growth come 2022.

LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. — A recent study from The Conference Board, a business research group, shows Americans are looking ahead to 2022 when it comes to money.

The board's Consumer Confidence Index has increased from 111.9 in November to 115.8 in December.

The index reveals within the next six months, Americans will look forward to increasing their spending on cars, houses, and vacation trips. 26.7% of consumers expect the conditions of businesses will improve and 25.1% expect an increase in jobs.

Dr. Terrill Frantz, associate professor of e-business and cyber security at Harrisburg University, says the new outlook is a sense of hope.

"We're coming from a low base, and we're rebounding, just as if you have sunshine after rain," said Frantz.

FOX43 spoke to locals who say the ongoing pandemic has left a lot of unanswered questions.

"We have to hope that if we get the pandemic more in control then that will spur the economy on," said Lancaster County visitor Louise Roarty.

Roarty is a registered nurse and is visiting for the holiday. She says it's hard for people to be optimistic when making ends meet continues to be difficult.

"It's uncomfortable for people and I know many people don't have the money to make what they want happen, happen and that's sad," said Roarty.

Frantz says it's a matter of "when" when thinking about the future of the country's economy. He says people should make calculated decisions rather than fast, haste decisions.

"I think we as a society, as an economy, will eventually work itself out so we do stabilize," he said. "The big question is, how long does that take? Let's slow down a little bit and give things a little bit more time to work out."

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