American manufacturing and retail are picking up
The latest figures on American manufacturing and retail in October tend upwards and also 117’000 new jobs were created
The US National ISM Report on business® shows that eight manufacturing industries have been growing in October, among we find apparel, leather and allied products as well as chemical products whereas machinery and others were declining.
Also U.S. retail sales were on the rise in October but the first days of November are negatively influenced for the Northeast of the U.S. because of hurricane Sandy and will have an effect on the expected November figures. Rising October sales reported Target Corp (2.4 %, expected were however 3.2 %), Macy’s (4.1 %, expected were only 3.1 %), Nordstrom (9.8 %, expected were 6.0 %), Costco Wholesale (5.0 % and 4 % customer traffic increase), Gap (4.0 %, but 5.1 % were expected), Limited Brands (3.0 %, however 5 .0 % were expected), Stage Stores (6.5 %, expected were just 2.8 %), Zumiez (0.6 %, expected were 4.5 %) and Wet Seal (-13.5 %, expected were -10.5 %), discounter Fred’s (-0.8 %). 17 retailers tracked by Thomson Reuters reported 4.7 % (4.1 %) growth.
According to a survey conducted by Delolitte consulting company, the American shoppers are in brighter spirits to buy Christmas gifts. 50 % of the consumers surveyed expect the economy to improve next year and a year ago there were only 33 percent. The number of consumers planning to spend less on holiday gifts is earmarked at 37 %, the lowest level attained since 2006.
But U.S. retailers face other challenges, namely Presidential Election. 24 % of survey respondents will delay their shopping until the election has been decided and this might soften holiday budgets. 50 % of the respondents indicate the election will not change their spending plans and 23 % remain undecided whether the election will affect how much they spend. American might wrap fewer packages this holiday season, but the value of the gifts they buy could increase and come in bigger packages. Respondents stated that they will spend similar to last year at USD 386, down slightly from USD 395 in 2011. The average number of gifts consumers plan to purchase fell to 12.8 from 14.7 last year and this number has been on decline steadily from 23.1 in 2007. The hunt for bargains remains the name of the game, fully 44 % of shoppers indicate they expect merchandise will eventually go “on sale” and they will buy exclusively sale items, nearly 4 in 10 (38 %) also expect store associates to match prices.
Interestingly enough, gift cards/certificates are still on demand, hence 45 % of the respondents with to receive such and/or cash (43 %). When purchasing gifts, just over 50 % indicate they plan to buy clothing (51 %), followed by gift cards/certificates (47 %), electronics (35 %) and books (34 %). 51 % plan to head to discount stores, followed by the Internet (45 %).
This year’s shopping season will b longer this year with five weekends between Thanksgiving and Christmas and nearly 3 in 10 or 28 % expect to participate in Black Friday shopping, though the majority of their purchases will come later. Almost 6 in 10 or 58 % plan to shop in December, and among them, 25 % will shop after Christmas. Additionally, 12 % of consumers say they will do some holiday shopping in January.