Content about Macroeconomics

April 2, 2014

The National Retail Federation (NRF) has publicly called Senate legislation aimed at increasing the federal minimum wage by 40% an anti-job tax that would lead to higher labor costs for employers and fewer opportunities for young and entry-level workers.

Washington, D.C. -- The National Retail Federation (NRF) has publicly called Senate legislation aimed at increasing the federal minimum wage by 40% an anti-job tax that would lead to higher labor costs for employers and fewer opportunities for young and entry-level workers. NRF will include votes on the minimum wage as “Key Retail Votes” in its annual voting scorecard used to measure legislative support for the retail industry’s public policy priorities.

March 27, 2014

Consumer spending growth of 3.3% in the fourth quarter of 2013 helped drive a 2.6% increase in the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP).

Washington, D.C. – Consumer spending growth of 3.3% in the fourth quarter of 2013 helped drive a 2.6% increase in the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP). According to the third and final estimate from the Commerce Department, the price index for gross domestic purchases, which measures prices paid by U.S. residents, increased 1.5% in the fourth quarter.

February 20, 2014

Gap Inc. will raise the minimum hourly wage for all U.S. employees to $9 in 2014, and then raise it again, to $10, in 2015.

San Francisco – Gap Inc. will raise the minimum hourly wage for all U.S. employees to $9 in 2014, and then raise it again, to $10, in 2015. The move will affect about 65,000 store employees across the company’s brands, which include Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Piperlime, Athleta, and Intermix. Gap's announcement comes amid a nationwide debate about the minimum wage.

January 30, 2014

President Obama in his State of the Union address last night said he plans to sign an executive order increasing the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour for workers on new government contracts and asked Congress to approve the same increase for all workers — and the National Retail Federation is not happy.

Washington, D.C. -- President Obama in his State of the Union address last night said he plans to sign an executive order increasing the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour for workers on new government contracts and asked Congress to approve the same increase for all workers — and the National Retail Federation is not happy.

NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay issued a response ahead of the president’s address.

December 18, 2013

The Washington, D.C., city council has reportedly unanimously approved an increase in the city’s minimum wage to $11.50 per hour in 2016, up from the current hourly rate of $8.25.

Washington, D.C. – The Washington, D.C., city council has reportedly unanimously approved an increase in the city’s minimum wage to $11.50 per hour in 2016, up from the current hourly rate of $8.25. According to Reuters, after being raised to $11.50 the minimum wage would then be indexed to inflation.

October 22, 2013

I’ve tapped Dave Cheatham from Phoenix-based Velocity Retail Group, an X Team International Partner, to help me examine the recent ups and downs of the local retail market in Arizona — and what the lessons learned here mean for brick and mortar retailers nationwide.

I’d like to try something a bit different for this week’s column: a market-specific conversation! I’ve tapped Dave Cheatham from Phoenix-based Velocity Retail Group, an X Team International Partner, to help me examine the recent ups and downs of the local retail market in Arizona — and what the lessons learned here mean for brick-and-mortar retailers nationwide.

October 21, 2013

Owners of garment factories in Bangladesh are reportedly prepared to raise the minimum wage they pay workers from 50%-80% and ask retailers to pay at least some of the extra cost.

Dhaka, Bangladesh – Owners of garment factories in Bangladesh are reportedly prepared to raise the minimum wage they pay workers from 50%-80% and ask retailers to pay at least some of the extra cost.

According to Reuters, factory owners have offered a minimum wage of about $46 per month. Workers have requested a minimum wage of about $102 per month, and the government is expected to order an increase in a middle range of $54-$66 per month. Current minimum wage is about $39 a month.

September 26, 2013

Governor Jerry Brown of California signed a bill approving a $2 hike in the state’s minimum wage, with the increase to be rolled out during the next three years.

New York -- Governor Jerry Brown of California on Wednesday signed a bill approving a $2 hike in the state’s minimum wage, with the increase to be rolled out during the next three years. The increase will make California's minimum wage the highest in the country.

The wage increase will go into effect in two separate $1 increments, going from the current minimum of $8 to $9 on July 1, 2014, and then to $10, on January 1, 2016.

September 18, 2013

The D.C. Council failed on Tuesday to overturn Mayor Vincent Gray’s veto of the proposed “living wage” bill.

Washington, D.C. -- The D.C. Council failed on Tuesday to overturn Mayor Vincent Gray’s veto of the proposed “living wage” bill. According to Washington Business Journal, only seven of the required nine district councilors voted to override Gray’s veto of the Large Retailer Accountability Act.

National Retail Federation (NRF) senior VP for government relations David French issued the following statement:

September 13, 2013

In the final hours of its 2013 regular session, the legislature in California voted to approve a bill that would raise the minimum wage from $8 an hour to $10 an hour within three years.

New York -- In the final hours of its 2013 regular session, the legislature in California voted to approve a bill that would raise the minimum wage from $8 an hour to $10 an hour within three years. Gov. Jerry Brown has indicated he would sign the bill into law, saying "The minimum wage has not kept pace with rising costs. This legislation is overdue and will help families that are struggling in this harsh economy."

July 19, 2013

U.S. consumers are positioned to spend more in the coming months based on several favorable economic indicators seen in June.

New York – U.S. consumers are positioned to spend more in the coming months based on several favorable economic indicators seen in June. The Deloitte Consumer Spending Index for June 2013, which comprises four components of tax burden, initial unemployment claims, real wages and real home prices, increased to 4.3 from a reading of 4.2 the previous month.  Continued improvement in real home prices and initial unemployment claims drove Index performance.

February 15, 2013

Bad feelings about the global economy persist, with more than half of consumers around the world say the world is in an economic recession, according to a new study by Nielsen.

New York -- Bad feelings about the global economy persist, with more than half of consumers around the world say the world is in an economic recession, according to a new study by Nielsen.

According to the Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions, 71% of North Americans said they were in a recession in the fourth-quarter of 2012, but this represented a drop in 15 percentage points from the fourth quarter 2011, representing the largest drop in negative sentiments about the economy of any area.

February 12, 2013

A report released by First Data Corp. found that dollar volume growth rebounded in January, improving to 6.2% versus 4% in December despite the payroll tax increase.

Atlanta -- A report released Tuesday by First Data Corp. found that dollar volume growth rebounded in January, improving to 6.2% versus 4% in December despite the payroll tax increase.

The First Data SpendTrend report, which tracks same-store consumer spending by credit, signature debit, PIN debit, EBT, closed-loop prepaid cards and checks at U.S. merchant locations, found that improved retail spending was a large contributor to the January growth.   

December 13, 2012

After nearly a year of steady gains, the Deloitte Consumer Spending Index (Index) fell in November due to a slowdown in the rise of new home prices and an accelerating decline in real wages.

New York -- After nearly a year of steady gains, the Deloitte Consumer Spending Index (Index) fell in November due to a slowdown in the rise of new home prices and an accelerating decline in real wages. The Index tracks consumer cash flow as an indicator of future consumer spending.
 

November 27, 2012

By Phillip M. Perry

Overcast with clearing skies — That’s the economic forecast from a major research firm as retailers enter a new year. Drizzly conditions will remain at least for the first half of 2013 as consumers hold tight to their pocketbooks. By the summer, though, light should break through the clouds as the resolutions of critical national uncertainties encourage corporate hiring, capital investment and consumer spending.

October 15, 2012

Deloitte’s Consumer Spending Index rose in September, aided by a near 11% gain in home prices.

New York -- Deloitte’s Consumer Spending Index rose in September, aided by a near 11% gain in home prices. The Index tracks consumer cash flow as an indicator of future consumer spending.

August 27, 2012

By Jim Hogan, GE Capital

By Jim Hogan, james.hogan@ge.com

The retail industry is a bellwether for U.S financial health given that consumer spending is roughly 60%-70% of the economy. While the economy has sent mixed signals of late -- consumer confidence down, unemployment up -- consumer credit has swung up decidedly and leading companies in a wide swath of retail segments can point to positive year-over-year same store sales. This is prompting some retailers -- particularly discount stores--to begin opening new stores.

April 12, 2012

A report released by Deloitte found that consumer spending posted an increase in March, reversing a trend of declines.

New York -- A report released Thursday by Deloitte found that consumer spending posted an increase in March, reversing a trend of declines.

The Deloitte Consumer Spending Index climbed higher in March, marking only the third monthly increase over the past 12 months. The Index tracks consumer cash flow as an indicator of future consumer spending.

February 10, 2012

Retail sales will increase by 5.7% in 2012, according to a new report by Customer Growth Partners, a consulting and research firm serving retailers, vendors and institutional investors.

New Canaan, Conn. -- Retail sales will increase by 5.7% in 2012, according to a new report by Customer Growth Partners,  a consulting and research firm serving retailers, vendors and institutional investors.

The report, “The Great Consumer Reset/The Great Retail Reset,” finds that falling household and credit-debt levels, along with higher savings rates, are fueling consumer spending. 

December 8, 2011

A report released Thursday said that consumer confidence in the U.S. was little changed for a second week, holding at a level typically reached during past recessions.

Washington, D.C. -- A report released Thursday said that consumer confidence in the U.S. was little changed for a second week, holding at a level typically reached during past recessions.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index was at minus 50.3 in the period ended Dec. 4, after a reading of minus 50.2 the prior week. The gauge has been at minus 50 or worse for 11 of the past 12 weeks.

September 7, 2011

Consumers are spending more, but doing so in fewer transactions, according to American Express Business Insights’ most recent Business Insights Spend Sights report.

New York City — Consumers are spending more, but doing so in fewer transactions, according to American Express Business Insights’ most recent Business Insights Spend Sights report.

The study, which examines spending patterns across several key categories, U.S. cities and demographic groups, finds that while economic uncertainty continues to dampen overall consumer confidence, a new pattern of less frequent but measurable splurging has become evident among a range of customer groups in several categories.

May 31, 2011

Consumers grew more confident in May amid job gains and slightly declining gas prices.

New York City -- Consumers grew more confident in April amid job gains and slightly declining gas prices. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan final index of consumer sentiment increased to a three-month high of 74.3 from 69.8 in April.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected the index to be unchanged from the preliminary figure. At the same time, income expectations remained at low levels.

April 11, 2011

Despite showing no signs of spending less in recent months, a new Deloitte survey found that nearly three-quarters (74%) of Americans believe higher prices could slow their spending in the months ahead.

New York City -- Despite showing no signs of spending less in recent months, a new Deloitte survey found that nearly three-quarters (74%) of Americans believe higher prices could slow their spending in the months ahead. Deloitte's study also revealed that mobile and social connections are helping shoppers make savvier buying decisions in the wake of the recession.

March 23, 2011

Almost 80% of respondents in a national survey of moms’ shopping habits said that the recession has permanently altered their shopping habits, inducing overall cuts in spending by purchasing items on sale and using coupons.

New York City -- Almost 80% of respondents in a national survey of moms’ shopping habits said that the recession has permanently altered their shopping habits, inducing overall cuts in spending by purchasing items on sale and using coupons. The survey was conducted by the online shopping site Totsy.

February 17, 2011

A report released Thursday by American Express Business Insights said that spending in the fourth quarter was up across the board, but the retail sector spend growth was more subdued despite the holiday shopping season.

New York City -- A report released Thursday by American Express Business Insights said that spending in the fourth quarter was up across the board, but the retail sector spend growth was more subdued despite the holiday shopping season.