Girl counting US Dollar bills, using calculator, and writing expenses. Woman doing budget, estimating money balance for shopping spree. Female accountant paying taxes. Girl counting Christmas gifts.
Consumer confidence is flat. What does it mean for holiday shopping?
Aired; November 16th, 2023.
Black Friday is a week from Friday to unofficially open the holiday shopping season. Then there’s Cyber Monday for online shopping too.
The holiday shopping season is make or break time for many retailers who see it as the best chance their bottom lines get into the “black.”
The nation’s economy has not followed traditional patterns since the COVID pandemic. For the most part, consumers have been flush with cash and have continued to spend. That’s even though overall inflation increased prices substantially for some products. The latest government report indicates inflation has leveled off from last year, but it still is the number one complaint and concern for consumers.
So, what will the holiday shopping season look like?
On The Spark Thursday, Dr. Matias Vernengo, Professor of Economics at Bucknell University said he anticipates the nation’s economic recovery will continue and many Americans will go about their normal holiday shopping ways, but they may not consume at quite the same rate. “I can say that macroeconomic forecasts suggest a mild slowdown of the economy in the fourth quarter, and that might have a small impact on sales,” Vernengo says. “The same could be said of a new increase in interest rates by the Federal Reserve.” But, Vernengo says the expectations are of a continuing recovery, and similar consumption patterns.