Retail

Modest spending through back-to-school headed to holidays

Retail sales gains have moderated near 3.5% growth in the back-to-school third quarter. That’s half a percentage point stronger than a year ago, although brick-and-mortar growth remains much weaker given e-commerce gains. Furniture and home improvement stores are holding up best…


July spending pickup muted by e-commerce impact

Retail sales gains firmed up in July, but except for e-commerce the year-to-date trends remain weak at brick and mortar stores—and especially at apparel and department stores. The July pickup was predicted by the latest measure of consumers’ confidence to spend…


2017 spending trend reverting to weakness

Second quarter signs of improvement in consumer spending did indeed prove short lived as indicated by the latest retail sales. The letup was predicted by recent measures of consumers’ confidence to spend over the next 90 days, which have turned flat…


Retail spending picking up in second quarter

Consumer spending on retail goods is picking up in the second quarter in the wake of a holiday and first quarter that turned out weaker than first thought—given revisions to retail sales as tracked by the government. This is the reading…


spending confidence trends

Steady Gen X confidence is only certain impact on spending

What is the best way to understand the impact of confidence on spending? Of late, the only thing that’s clear is that the relationship is far from direct. In May, the post-election runup in consumers’ spending confidence—which has been led by…


Retail spending in 2017 suddenly looks weak

The trend in retail spending suddenly looks much weaker through April—partly as a result of revisions to the government-reported retail data. December holiday results also were revised downward. Sales excluding autos and fuel are growing roughly between 2.5% and 3.5% in…


job trends

Job gains suggest spending focus on travel, eating out

U.S. job growth in April returned to the strong pace of the start of the year, but the regional momentum remains mixed and skewed toward the Western and Southeastern states. A pickup in energy and mining-related jobs among goods industries is…