Goblins, Witches, and Skeletons – An Update on the Autumn and Winter Holiday Shopping Season

Posted on 9/24/2014 8:32:06 AM By Rick Krause

Consumer spending remains the leading driver of the US economy and therefore drives the need for packaged goods and packaging adhesives.  So how are we doing after last month’s upbeat commentary and outlook?

Indications are that the “Back to School” shopping season – the second largest consumer spending period of the calendar year – did not disappoint.   According to the Thomson Reuters Same Store Sales Index, the August 2014 index jumped 4.5%, surpassing its final bullish forecast of 4.0%.  This followed a similar upbeat performance in July 2014, which saw an increase of 4.7%.   All of this occurred in the midst of a four month continuous string of improving consumer confidence (as reported by The Conference Board) which reached 92.9 in August, the highest level since October 2007.

However, lingering consumer anxieties persist, particularly in the short-term.  Perhaps all of the Halloween candy now on sale has consumers worried about lurking goblins, witches with ill intent, and other skeletons in the closet.  Retail sales remain the strongest at discount retailers – today’s typical shopper is increasingly tech-savvy and looking for the best deal.  Bloomberg has already reported a mid-September dip in its Consumer Comfort Index to 36.5, a five week low.

A sustained surge in consumer spending requires consumer confidence and increasing household incomes, which continue to be stuck in neutral and still not fully-recovered from pre-recession levels in many parts of the country.  Perhaps all things pumpkin-spiced will continue to improve consumers’ moods and ready ourselves for an upbeat holiday retail shopping season.  

comments powered by Disqus