I thought that “per-person” spending was down, but traffic was way up, and on balance Black Friday was reasonably good….. if so, what’s this?
Gallup’s Thanksgiving week results tend to confirm fears of a weak holiday sales season as consumer spending was unchanged from the prior week, even though it included Friday and Saturday of the Black Friday weekend. At the same time, Gallup’s Economic Confidence Index and its Job Creation Index were essentially unchanged from the prior week. A rather gloomy consumer mood and consumer spending — trailing last year’s financial crisis-depressed comparables by 25% — may not be unexpected, but are surely a disappointing way to start the Christmas sales season for the nation’s retailers.
I thought spending was only down 1/2%?
Twenty five percent below last year?!
The other thing that’s particularly ugly here is that Black Friday was essentially a zero in terms of additive to consumer spend .vs. the previous week.
And if you believe the CNBS pumpers on the economy, you’re in the minority:
Americans’ views of the economy going forward showed virtually no change, with 59% saying the economy is “getting worse,” compared to 60% the previous week. Thirty-five percent of Americans described the economy as “getting better,” versus 34% the prior week. Consumer assessments of the current economy were also not much different from the previous week, with 47% rating the economy “poor” and 12% rating it “excellent” or “good,” compared to 48% and 11%, respectively, the prior week.
Looks like the real economy trumps the pump, even though Obama is bloviating as I write this about having experienced (past tense) the worst economic downturn since the Depression.
Past tense eh? Not according to most Americans.
The jobs situation remains bleak — better than earlier this year, but no better than a year ago, and with a 10.2% unemployment rate. In turn, this may help to explain, at least in part, why consumer spending continues to significantly trail last year’s levels.