If you have been following economic news over the past two years, you know that our economy is still on a recovery journey. We've seen some improvement, but not enough to calm nervous investors and consumer confidence. Retail sales dipped in November, driven by hurricane season and record high temperatures. The Retail Development Association released a report citing evidence that higher energy and transportation costs are hurting consumer confidence. In an alarming signal for the US economic recovery, retail sales dipped in November, marking the first drop in franchise sales since October, as surging CO VID-19 flu outbreaks ushered in yet more business-sucking restrictions to curb the deadly spread of the infection.
More than just hurricanes, the US is being hit by two different types of weather disasters this winter. It's a long-anticipated positive economic stimulus package, but the US federal budget is facing an uncertain future due to congressional gridlock that threatens to send the economy into a recession. President Obama and Congressional leaders have been negotiating the details of an economic stimulus package since early this year. As negotiations drag on, the specter of a government shutdown looms over budget negotiations, and consumers' confidence in the US economic recovery is dented.
Although Americans are bracing themselves for another winter of economic hardships, the US economic recovery will definitely benefit from the relatively mild winter conditions across the Atlantic. Consumers have pulled their punches in the past, but now that winter is officially on the way, they're ready to get out there and buy more products. Strong consumer demand and strong demand from US suppliers have led many companies to take advantage of this unique opportunity to grow their business in the coldest months of the year. According to Bruceetus, CEO of Pollack Furniture in Columbia, “The US consumer just doesn't stop – they always seem to be looking for a bargain and now is the time to capitalize.”
The timing of the Pollack Furniture sales is very important. During this last second before winter arrives, US retailers need to take advantage of last minute seasonal buying and increase their inventory levels to meet demand. If there is a delay in the start of spring purchasing, then it may also lead to an increase in supply, which will further increase prices and create further hardships for consumers. Consumers have been cutting back on discretionary income for several months, so now is the perfect time for US retailers to make up for lost sales.
Businesses and consumers have taken a collective stand in opposition to the US government's proposed stimulus plan, or lack thereof. The American consumer, through their massive buy during the holiday season, has helped keep the US economy bouncing back and operating at a healthy pace. The fact that unemployment is at an all time low is a clear sign that the US economic stimulus package is working. Without consumer buying sprees like the US, some economists believe the US will slip back into recession. While unemployment is definitely a negative for the US economy, the fact that so many people have lost their jobs is not good for the economy overall.
This is just one example of how consumer confidence has been boosted by the US economic recovery. A strong US economy allows consumers to pay less for things like cars and homes, while spending more on goods like electronics and clothing. Consumers are feeling confident in the US economy because they are seeing job growth, higher household income, and rising inflation. When economic experts look at the US, they see a recession on the way and that is definitely a good thing.
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