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Tag >> consumer spending
Jun 11

Consumers poised to drive second half growth

Posted by Stephen Taub in household debtGDPconsumer spendingconsumer confidenceCash

Stephen Taub

Are consumers about to go on a shopping spree or do they prefer to squirrel away their money until the economy improves?

This is a critical question, since consumers account for about 70 percent of the overall economy.

Jun 08

Strikes in China could mean lower US profits

Posted by Ron F in workersoutsourcingoffshoreMalaysiaemerging marketseconomy, earnings, demandcostscost reductioncost cuttingconsumer spendingChinaCareers/Management

Ron F

Rising labor strife in China has potentially significant implications for US companies and financial markets. The irony is that what companies want isn't necessarily the same thing that markets do.

Yves Smith over at Naked Capitalism does a good job of explaining why.

May 28

Glass half full, not half empty?

Posted by Ron F in recoveryrecessioneconomyconsumer spendingcareer/management

Ron F

Talk about accentuating the positive. This Reuters report just about takes the cake. It's also a complete jumble of contradictory data.

So rather than pick it up, I've decided to "Fisk" it, which is Webspeak for inserting snarky comments into someone else's text and comes from the name of Iraq war critic and journalist Robert Fisk, whose brilliant work generated lots of such treatment on right-wing sites back in the day. We'll see if Reuters complains about my application of the technique on its material.

Apr 27

More hype about a bellwether's results

Posted by Ron F in unemployment, jobsjoblessnesshealth careGeneral ElectricGEemploymenteconomycost reductionconsumer spendingconstructionChinaCareers/ManagementbubblesAccounting

Ron F

By this point, press cheerleading for the economy is hardly newsworthy, and I'm not the first to notice the latest example.

But the down-is-up spin on Caterpillar's results cannot escape mention.  As the Business Insider notes, the Bloomberg story is tame by comparison with the ravings on CNBC yesterday.

Apr 22

Consumer companies still show weakness

Posted by mcole in economy, earnings, consumer spendingCashanalysts


A slew of companies posted disappointing quarterly results this week with reasons as varied as the weather, raw material costs or simply a lack of growth. The companies have one thing in common, though: They all rely on consumer spending.

Kimberly-Clark, the maker of Kleenex and Huggies diapers, earned $384 million in the first quarter, down from $407 million a year ago, due to higher costs for raw materials, especially pulp and and oil-based materials.

Apr 10

Grounds for skepticism about the recovery

Posted by Ron F in unemployment, recoveryrecessionjoblessnessfinancial crisisconsumer spendingconfidenceCareers/Management

Ron F

This is at least the second piece by Floyd Norris of the New York Times in the past three or four months suggesting the recovery may be stronger than pessimists believe it will be, based on comparisons with previous recoveries.

I take all his points, but it seems to me he's missing an important difference between this recession and other post-World War II downturns. This is the first since the Great Depression to be associated with a financial crisis.

Apr 09

No holding down the American spender

Posted by Stephen Taub in kohl's, consumersconsumer spendingConference BoardCash

Stephen Taub

Let's face it. Americans are consumers, not savers.

It only took the worst economic crisis since the depression to convince many profligate spenders to cut back and only use the money they have. As a result, Americans began to save like the Japanese.

Mar 30

Wall Street to Main: We got ours

Posted by Ron F in Regulationrecoveryrecessiongrowthfat cat bankerseconomyconsumer spendingcareer/managementbanking reformbanking industry

Ron F

Two stories today say it all about the status of the economic recovery: Wall Street's doing fine, so who cares about Main Street?

Or at least that's the way the world seems to appear based on Bloomberg's reporting.

Feb 17

Why service exports won't resurrect the economy

Posted by Ron F in recoveryrecessionObama Administration, Obama, Federal Reserveeconomycost cuttingconsumer spendingChinaCFOCEOsCareers/ManagementBankingAIG

Ron F

I find this op-ed today on exports more than confusing. Essentially, the author, a business professor and former chief economist at the Dallas Fed named W. Michael Cox, says that President Obama's call for the U.S. to compete more effectively on that basis should not focus on boosting manufactured goods.

But it seems to me that our so-called comparative advantage in services that Cox says is a sufficient source of GDP growth has in fact put us at a disadvantage to countries such as China and Germany.

Jan 25

Oops. About that November increase in durable orders

Posted by Ron F in recoveryrecessioneconomydataconsumer spendingcash concernscapital expenditures

Ron F

This obviously is conspiracy theorizing at its worst, but it's hard not to scratch your head over the revision to the November report on durable goods orders that the Census Bureau quietly made on January 15.

Remember, the initial report of a 0.2 percent increase got major billing as a positive indication for the economy, even though the consensus expectation was for an 0.5 percent increase. As CNBC intoned, this was a sign of "a firmly entrenched economic recovery."

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