IHS Global Insight Notes Retail Sales Rebound
August 14, 2012
According to IHS Global Insight U.S. economist Chris Christopher, the gains were broad and across most sectors.
“Most major retail sectors had unusually strong gains,” he said. “It is apparent that after a cautious second quarter, shoppers decided to head to the mall and open their wallets despite rising gasoline prices.”
He also noted that the heat wave that started at the end of June and continued into July may have assisted clothing, sporting goods, and building material outlet sales.
“But overall, we are taking a cautious view on the spending so far,” said Christopher. “We don’t expect procurement officers to make any sudden moves on inventory. Lean logistics will continue to prevail.”
This is a good report on the retail sales front. It indicates that consumers came back after hunkering down. The July retail sales numbers are a positive development, but Americans are not throwing caution to the wind. It indicates the fragility of spending patterns. Robust and enduring consumer spending growth will happen once job prospects improve and consumer confidence jumps out of recession territory.
IHS Global Insight is now forecasting consumer spending adjusted for inflation to increase 2.0 percent in the third quarter, and the back-to-school retail sales season is looking significantly brighter.
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