Thursday, September 1, 2011

Economy: Recession? What Recession?

In the recent days there was a lot of fuzz about an allegedly new recession in the U.S.. Some pundits claimed that the stock market turmoil in August made the situation even worse. The falling stock prices could scare the consumers and therefore reduce the consumer spending in the U.S.

Today we got the first hard data from the consumer front. These facts show that these predictions were wrong. The U.S. consumers didn´t react on the stock market and stayed in spending mode.

Today a lot of retailers reported encouraging sales numbers for August. Many merchants showed a respectable back-to-school shopping season, reported Yahoo finance ( ). Overall, revenue in August was up 4.6% at stores open at least a year among 26 retailers -- a key industry measure -- according to the International Council of Shopping Centers.

Luxury chains eased worries that wealthy shoppers would pull back because of the wild swings in the stock market in August, writes Yahoo Finance. The fashion chain Nordstrom Inc., for instance, had a 6.7% gain, higher than the 4.8% increase analysts had expected.

Among the biggest gainers, membership warehouse club Costco Wholesale Corp.  and its smaller rival BJ’s Wholesale Club Inc. posted sales gains of 11% and 11.5% each ()

Victoria’s Secret parent Limited Brands Inc.  also posted a better-than-expected 11% increase. Department store operator Macy’s Inc. sales rose 5%, beating estimates. It said sales would have been higher by 1.5 percentage points without the negative impact of tropical storm Irene, which caused many shops to close on last weekend.

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