Deloitte Consumer Spending Index rises in December

New York -- The Deloitte Consumer Spending Index, which tracks consumer cash flow as an indicator of future consumer spending, rose in December 2013. The Index, which comprises four components, tax burden, initial unemployment claims, real wages and real home prices, increased to 4.3 in December from 3.9 the prior month.

"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,” said Alison Paul, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP and Retail & Distribution sector leader. “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 personalized, high-touch connections through mobile and online points of contact that reach a broader swath of shoppers with greater precision.”
 
Highlights of the Index include:

Tax Burden: The tax rate is up now at 11.8%, a 0.6% increase from last month.  A rising tax rate is associated with increasing incomes.

Initial Unemployment Claims: Claims declined 14% from the same period last year, falling to 324,000.

Real Wages: Real hourly wages rose 1.3% from this time last year to $8.83, showing a second month of accelerated increases.

Real New Home Prices: New home prices climbed to $116,000, an increase of more than 5% from the same time last year.

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