The Big Picture After a slow start in the first quarter, analysts believe that the U.S. economy is improving in the current quarter and could reach a growth rate of 2.5% for March through June. And while increased hiring is expected to spur consumer confidence in the latter part of this year, consumers today still [...]
The Big Picture The economy slowed in the first quarter this year, in part due to rising gas prices, which led to a drop in consumer spending. The 1.8% gain posted for the first quarter comes after a revised 2.8% gain in the previous quarter, and was the slowest the U.S. economy grew since spring [...]
The Big Picture While the U.S. economy continues to strengthen, uncertainty abroad has rattled nerves and stocks recently. Consumer spending is up, posting a 0.7% gain in February, but this is mostly due to rising gas and grocery prices. This increase in spending marked the largest spike since October. Even though unemployment remains high in [...]
The U.S. economy grew at a slower rate than originally thought in the fourth quarter of 2010, posting a gain of 2.8%. Although this is lower than the 3.2% growth originally anticipated for the quarter, it was still the highest fall growth rate we’ve seen in five years, indicating that the recovery is on track. [...]
The Big Picture The U.S. economy grew 3.2% in the last quarter of 2010, spurred by strong consumer spending, the Commerce Department reported. The growth should come as no surprise to retailers, many of which posted the brightest holiday season in years. Consumer spending was up 4.4% in the last quarter, but analysts warn that [...]
After a slow start to the season, both the economy and retail sales picked up dramatically over the holidays. In fact, retail sales beat all forecasts, increasing by 5.5% in the first 50 days before Christmas, according to MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse. Finally, Americans started to spend like it was 2007.
The Big Picture The U.S. economy grew faster than expected in the third quarter, up 2.5%, thanks to increased consumer spending and U.S. exports, according to the Commerce Department. The economy got a boost from a 0.4% increase in consumer spending in October, fueled by a 0.5% jump in incomes. The growth mirrored what we [...]
As we head into the holiday season, all eyes are on consumers. While the consumer confidence index inched up slightly in October, to 50.2 from 48.6 the previous month, continuing pessimism about the job market might keep some from splashing out this Christmas.
The Big Picture Once again, it was another month of mixed economic news. The Consumer Confidence Index fell to 48.5 in September from 53.5 in August, yet many retailers reported gains. Furthermore, the stock market rallied last week on positive economic news that capital goods, including computers and communication equipment, rose 4.1% in August after [...]
The Big Picture The media has been building a case for an economic “double dip” lately, citing the Fed’s concern over deflation and a dismal job market as evidence that the economy is weakening rather than recovering. Other factors are also concerning, such as the housing market and recent GDP growth figures; however, major retailers [...]
The Big Picture Although overall June retail sales were down for the second consecutive month—mostly due to a drop in auto and gas sales—sales of clothing managed to inch up 0.6%, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. While analysts agree that the recovery is still underway, they also say it is a slow process, given [...]
The economic recovery hit a small speed bump in May, with overall retail sales (excluding autos, gas and restaurants) dipping 1.4% from April, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). Meanwhile, clothing and accessory stores decreased 1.3% on a seasonally adjusted basis.
The news serves as “a reminder of the uncertainty that still exists in the economy,” the NRF said.
The Big Picture The U.S economic picture continues to brighten, as forecasters project an increase in consumer savings and decline in unemployment. Existing home sales even made a surprising recovery, surging 7.6% in April thanks to a federal tax credit for first time homebuyers. The National Association for Business Economics, which surveyed 46 economists, now [...]
The Big Picture Both macroeconomic and retail data show that the U.S. economy is picking up. In fact, the IMF now predicts that the economy will grow faster than the 3.1% growth spurt forecast for this year. During March business was up almost 20% among many of our merchants. We’re also seeing increases for April [...]
The Big Picture The U.S. economy is expected to experience slow growth through 2012, according to new forecasts released by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles. The economy is expected to grow 3.2% in the first quarter of this year and then level off to around 2% for the remainder of the year. [...]
The Big Picture The U.S. economy continues its cautious recovery, with some positive news coming both from the stock market and from the Fed. Stocks are finally catching up to 2009 levels and the Fed’s recent decision to increase its discount rate is being seen as a sign of strength. It seems that we also [...]
The Big Picture The U.S. economy continues its slow tick to recovery, yet unemployment remains high and consumers are keeping a lid on their spending. Although the major banks have returned to big profits, credit is still tight, making it difficult for retailers to get extra funding for their businesses. Cash remains king and the [...]
The Big Picture Consumer confidence grew for the second month in a row in December, with proof coming in slight gains over the holiday season. Steady improvements in the U.S. economy have helped boost confidence, including an upswing in the housing market. But although optimism is increasing, unemployment remains high and third-quarter growth has been [...]
As we head further into the holiday season consumers are still tentative about the overall economy. Retail sales improved in October, but were down again in November. Meanwhile, consumer confidence has improved slightly, due to the fact that consumers do not expect business conditions to worsen. As we look to our holiday forecasts, we must [...]
In the retail apparel market, September was another challenging month. The good news is we are seeing improvements so far in October, due to both pent-up demand and cooler weather, which is encouraging shoppers to fill out their winter wardrobes.
The Big Picture The Federal Reserve recently announced that the economy is “picking up,” yet unemployment is still expected to exceed 10% before the end of the year. Economic data continues to be mixed, with sales of existing homes falling, despite consumer confidence rising. In the apparel business, fall continues to be challenging. While we [...]
The Big Picture The U.S. economy is showing more signs that the recession is finally coming to a close. Housing prices in some areas rose for the first time in July, and consumer confidence inched its way back up in August. The stock market was buoyed earlier this week by President Barack Obama’s decision to [...]
The Big Picture Recent leading indicators, such as stock market gains and increased consumer expectations, hint that the recession is coming to an end. Consumer confidence around the world improved in the second quarter, and new U.S. home sales rose sharply in June. While the overall economic mood is improving, apparel sales have remained down [...]
The Big Picture Key economic data showed improvements for the second consecutive month in June, leading many to predict that the worst of the recession is behind us. Both consumer spending and confidence is up, and the rate of unemployment is slowing. Analysts are expecting the economy to contract by 2% to 3% this quarter, [...]