Thursday, August 4, 2011

Economy: In Consumers We Trust IV

Doom & Gloom rules. It seems the stock market is pricing in a new recession now. Therefore media & investors didn`t show much interest for positive news today.

Now wonder that the positive reports of the retailers were almost ignored today. The back-to-school season got a strong start, reported AP on Yahoo Finance (  ). A number of retailers reported July revenue that beat Wall Street estimates, including discounter Target, department store Macy's, and luxury chain Saks.

Bloomberg ( bloomberg ) wrote that U.S. retailers including Limited Brands Inc. (Victoria´s Secret) reported July sales that exceeded analysts’ estimates as consumers kept spending on clothing in the face of higher food and gas prices.

Retailers that cater to higher-income shoppers have fared the best in the difficult economy, claimed the AP report. The biggest standouts have been luxury retailers led by Saks Inc., which had a 15.6 percent increase for the month. That was much higher than the 8.5 percent forecast.

Wholesale club operator Costco Wholesale Corp. also managed to attract higher income shoppers and others who like the treasure hunt experience in its stores. The company, which is based in Issaquah, Wash., said revenue from stores open at least a year climbed 10 percent in July, compared with the 8.6 percent analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had predicted.

Target, which has been beefing up its grocery business, said revenue at stores opened at least a year rose 4.1 percent in July as shoppers picked up more groceries and health and beauty products (AP). Target said consumers spent more per transaction and back-to-school revenue is off to "a solid start," reported AP.

Many department stores like J.C. Penney and Macy's also had respectable results, as they drew shoppers in with exclusive merchandise and sales on select items, tells us AP.

These facts almost drowned in the deluge of reports commenting the tanking stock market. But it seems the economic reality is much better than the sentiment. Maybe a reason to invest in stocks again.

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