What happened to consumers?

As reported by the Commerce Department, in December last year, retail sales were 1.2% less, adjusted for seasonal factors than in November.

This decline was more than expected and in General was the largest for the month since 2009. Moreover, the decrease in demand was observed practically in all categories — even for food.

It is possible that the role played by the instability in the stock market and emerging concerns about the weakness throughout the economy.

Besides from 22 February suspended its activities, the Federal government, and hundreds of thousands of civil servants and employees of companies that serve government contracts, remained without a salary, forcing them to tighten their belts.

As a result, many economists do not exclude that growth of the gross domestic product is less than expected. So, at Morgan Stanley believe that the fourth quarter GDP increased by 3.1 and not 3.7% as previously thought, but in the first quarter, respectively, for 1, not 1.7%.

Since many companies (including more recently General Motors) no longer a monthly report on the sales, it is difficult to judge what is the activity of consumers at present. However, the analysis of the volume of card transaction conducted by the Bank of America Merrill Lynch, suggests that in January, compared to December, demand declined by 0.3%.
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