Monday, May 13, 2013

Economy: The Consumer Mantra 2013

According to the skeptics the U.S. is still in a recession or the next recession is around the corner. Don´t believe the pessimists. The reality is much better.

This morning we got news that U.S. retail sales rose 0.1% in April (bloomberg). This seems to be very slow, but the numbers are influenced by falling gas prices at the pump which reduce the expenditures for filling the gas tanks significantly. Hence retail sales ex-gasoline increased 0.7% and were 4.7% higher than in April 2012 (calculatedriskblog). The biggest gainer were clothing stores (plus 1.2%) and general merchandise outlets, which include department stores (plus 1%)

It seems that the U.S. consumers are encouraged by the ongoing stock market rally (plus around 140% since March 2009), climbing home prices and the healing job market.  Also helpful are the shrinking gas prices at the pump which leave more money for spending in the wallets.

But I guess it is equally important, that the U.S. consumers ignore the gloomy sentiment in the media and show a lot of optimism and confidence in their future. Maybe the Americans of today inherited the positive pioneering spirit of the ancestors.

Thus I am convinced that the steady rise of the consumer spending will continue in the coming months and will furthermore fuel the upswing of the economy and the rally on the stock market.

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