U.S. Deloitte Consumer Spending Index tends upwards
The Deloitte (consultancy to retail and distribution industry) Consumer Spending Index climbed in December 2013, it tracks consumer cash flow as an indicator of future consumer spending in the U.S.
Daniel Bachmann, Deloitte’s senior U.S. economist explains: “Economic fundamentals influencing consumer spending moved in a positive direction in the latest Index. Median home prices increased, while initial unemployment claims continued to fall. Real wages, which have remained stubbornly flat, increased slightly as well”.
The Index comprises four components: tax burden (+ 11.8 % or an increase of 0.6 % against November), initial unemployment claims (-14.0 % to 324’000), real wages (+1.3 % to USD 8.83 registering a second month of accelerated increases) and real home prices (climbing to USD 116000, an increase of more than five percent against last year’s same time. The total Index increased from 3.9 % to 4.3 % in December as against November.
Alison Paul, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP and Retail and Distribution sector leader commented: “Retailers need to keep their foot on the gas in light of the positive signals that suggest improved consumer confidence and spending levels in the months ahead. The holiday season underscored that consumers are not only willing to shop, but expect to do so on their time and on their terms. Retailers can keep up the momentum by targeting consumers across different channels and geographies with more personalised, high-touch connections through mobile and online points of contact that reach a broader swath of shoppers with greater precision. Retailers should also consider how to reign in shoppers’ dependence on discounts, through new products, assortment and service that entice shoppers to spend at full price points, to not only drive sales but preserve margins.