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Showing posts with the label consumer spending

Lower Oil Prices and Optimism Fueling Consumer Spending

The 4th Quarter saw a slow down of growth from 5 to 2.6% but consumer spending popped up 4.3%. This is good news as 70% of the economy functions from consumers spending. Growth might have slowed in the 4Q but people are more optimistic about their future and this can create positive signs for economic growth in the first half of this year. According to Sam Bullard a senior economist at Wells Fargo, " Sharply lower oil prices do present downside risk to business investment, but accruing benefits to the consumer in the form of lower gasoline prices should increasingly offset the near-term drag ( 1 )." As consumers save money at the pump and heat on their homes they are naturally going to spend that extra money somewhere. Americans are not great savers. Nearly 75% of people live pay check to pay check while only 25% have enough to cover 6 months of expenses ( 2 ).  If we aren't going to save that money most likely it is going to be spent somewhere. We love to eat, b

Confidence in the Economy Grows as Holidays Near

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The holiday season is nearly upon us and people are a little more optimistic about the economy then they were just a few months ago. People are slowly starting to feel good about their future prospects and the potential for their incomes. According to the Gallop Poll a -6 is a significant improvement over the -20’s experienced throughout the year.  Economic confidence is a beneficial metric but isn’t a very conclusive one. Much of economic confidence is based in how people perceive the environment and their opportunities within it. New reports and the general impressions of reports does have an impact on economic impression (Barsky & Sims, 2012). Some have called positive economic beliefs part of our animal spirits.  Animal spirits are more psychological images and impressions than objective data. If you buy more on days when you feel good than on days you don’t then this is your animal spirits coming to play. What we read and how we read the environment will natural

GDP Rises and Consumer Confidence Recovers

The Bureau of Economic Analysis released optimistic data showing a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increase of 4.2% in the output of goods and services. The new numbers are a windfall compared to the previous 2.1% decline in the first quarter of 2014. The new release of information uses more accurate numbers than previous measurements which help the business community make investment decisions. The new numbers show an increase in nonresidential fixed investments with smaller numbers in private inventory investment. Other factors influencing the higher numbers were exports, personal consumption expenditures, local government spending, and residential fixed investments. Confidence in the economy may be encouraging purchasing behaviors, state spending, and business investments. Consumer confidence and consumer spending are associated in economic theory (Ludvigson, 2004). As consumers become more confident about their employment prospects and ability to earn a living wage they wi