Friday, March 12, 2010

Consumer = Unhappy, but Spending

Confidence Falls

Per Marketwatch:

U.S. consumer sentiment dipped in early March, according to media reports on Friday of the Reuters/University of Michigan index.

Amid signs that the labor market is approaching a trough but remains frail, the consumer sentiment index declined to 72.5 in March from 73.6 in February. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had been expecting the sentiment index to hit 74 in March.

Yet, Still Shopping


Retail sales showed strength in February. Per the AP:.
For February, sales rose 0.3 percent, the Commerce Department said Friday. That surpassed expectations that sales would decline 0.2 percent.

The overall gain was held back by a 2 percent decline in auto sales, reflecting in part the recall problems at Toyota. Excluding autos, sales rose 0.8 percent. That was far better than the 0.1 percent increase excluding autos that economists had forecast.


If you're going to stay home (unemployed), perhaps that is cause for the new flat panel TV or laptop?

Calculated Risk does point out that while the trend is improved, the overall level is actual less than what was reported just one month ago:
January was revised down sharply. Jan was originally reported at $355.8 billion, an increase of 0.5% from December.

February was reported at $355.5 billion - a decline without the revision to January.
In other words, reports got ahead of themselves (no surprise), but the actual trend remains moving in an upward trajectory even though things quite frankly suck for the average consumer.

Source: Census