Retail sales haven’t met the expectations set for December 2014. After an increase of 0.4 % in November, which was smaller than expected, everybody thought that there would be an increase in December’s percentages. To everyone’s dismay, December showed a decline of 0.1 percent, so economists should make their estimations carefully when referring to 2015.
However, the sliding prices of gasoline make December’s percentages look misleading in some ways. In fact, when leaving the automobile and gas taxes out of the equation, the retail spending rate fell 0.3 percent. This number still disappoints salesmen, confirming that people decided to save up instead of spending during the holiday season.
Mr. Steve Barr, United States retail and consumer sector leader at Pricewater house Coopers said that:
“We had a very conflicted consumer this holiday season. Retailers responded with a much earlier start to the holiday season and heavy promotions. Now you worry whether they’ve permanently conditioned the consumer to expect deep discounts.”
The National Retail Federation is the one who hosted this week’s edition of the show and it saw that positive trends have been developing. Taking into consideration everything that happened in November and December, spending has grown 4 percent, in comparison with the same period of 2014. As far as those stores that didn’t have holiday sales are concerned, the percentages grew 6.8 percent, to $101.9 billion, the federation shows.
“There is every reason to believe that we have moved well beyond the days of consumer pessimism and that the trajectory for retailers continues to point up.”
Matthew R. Shay said it, and he’s the trade group’s chief executive.
Chris Donnelly, senior managing director for retail at Accenture Strategy underlines that the US economy seemed stronger at the end of 2014 as opposed to the same period, two years ago.
Other businesses which also had experienced an increase in sales in December are pharmacies and other personal care stores. But in comparison with the end of 2013, spending grew with 3.2 percent.
Image Source: Bryan Uhrig