Low gas prices lifting spending
The Federal Reserve recently reported broad improvements to the economy, including some positive signs for tourism spending.
The report, which covered October and November, citied a number of improvements in the Chicago District, where the Oshkosh area is located. The report found that, “Consumer and business spending, manufacturing production, and construction and real estate activity all increased moderately.”
The report indicated that low gas prices and higher consumer confidence are leading to a more positive outlook for most “non-auto” retailers.
The Reserve said that in addition to low gasoline prices, an early cold spell helped spur sales of winter apparel in several districts.
It said tourism reports were mostly positive during the reporting period. The early opening of some ski reports in some districts helped boost traveler spending.
Gasoline prices continue to be the lowest they have in years. In early December, the national average gas price was $2.75 a gallon, about 53 cents lower than the same time in 2013.
Oshkosh gas prices recently ranged from $2.73 to $2.79.