Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Consumers getting nervous. Again.

July 16, 2010

Check Out the latest depressing news about the psyche of U.S. consumers.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index plummeted last month while consulting firm Deloitte said its monthly Consumer Spending Index fell in June for the second consecutive month,as wages and house values again showed weakness. These trends don’t bode well for future shopping. 

“”Real hourly earnings, after experiencing growth in 2009, have deteriorated in 2010 and continue to drag on the Index,” said Carl Steidtmann, chief economist with Deloitte Research, a part of Deloitte Services LP, and author of the monthly Index.
    
“The other negative contributor appears in real home prices, which resumed their downward trend after a short, two-month upward climb,” he added.
    
Deloitte’s index looks at consumers’ cash flow — including tax burden, initial unemployment claims, real wages and real home prices — as a proxy for their future spending.

Alison Paul, vice chairman and Deloitte’s retail leader in the United States, said retailers need to understand it could be that much harder to get shoppers to shell out money during back-to-school season, even if they lure them into stores.
    
Also in the basket:
- Mattel misses on weak cost cutting, euro; stock down   
- Starbucks keeps growth on the boil      
- Burberry buys Chinese retail operations

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