Consumer confidence unexpectedly rises in July
New York — Consumer confidence unexpectedly rose in July as Americans were more optimistic about the short-term outlook than they were about their current conditions, according to a report released Tuesday by The Conference Group, private research group. The report showed that while consumers are feeling better about the economy, they remain wary about the labor markets.
The group’s index of consumer attitudes increased to 65.9 from an upwardly revised 62.7 in June, topping economists’ expectations for a decline to 61.5. June was originally reported as 62.0.
Despite the increased confidence about short-term business and employment prospects, consumers have grown more pessimistic about their earnings, Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center, said in a statement.
“Given the current economic environment — in particular the weak labor market – consumer confidence is not likely to gain any significant momentum in the coming months,” Franco stated.
The expectations index improved to 79.1 from 73.4, while the present situation index edged down to 46.2 from 46.6.
Consumers were slightly less positive about current labor-market conditions. The board’s survey showed 7.8% of respondents think jobs now are “plentiful,” down from 8.3% thinking that in June. Another 40.8% think jobs are "hard to get,” down only a bit from 41.2% last month.
Consumers are about split in their attitudes about future income. Only 14.2% expect their incomes to rise in the next six months, down from 15.3% in June. Another 14.8% expect their earnings to fall, down from 15.1% saying that in June.
The view in six months from now was more optimistic, with 17.6% expecting to see more jobs, up from 14.8% in June.
Survey: Consumers more trusting of sharing information with retailers than social networks
San Mateo, Calif. — A survey by The E-tailing Group and MyBuys found that consumers are more comfortable sharing data with retailers than they are with social networks, especially if it enhances the shopping experience.
While many consumer advocates stress the need for tighter regulation in regard to consumer privacy and the use of consumer data, the majority of survey respondents (55%) responded that they are “mostly willing” to provide shopping preferences to trusted retailers in exchange for an enhanced shopping experience. In contrast, 52% of consumers responded that they are “much more concerned” or “somewhat more concerned” about sharing the same data on social networks.
“Today’s consumer is a savvy operator who expects a tailored online experience. The irony is that they’re more comfortable sharing shopping preference information with retailers than they are with social networks, which were designed for this type of exchange,” said Robert Cell, CEO of MyBuys. “The onus is clearly on retailers to leverage this privilege responsibly to deliver on the promise of a better experience. The data strongly shows that doing so results in a better shopping experience for the consumer, increases brand loyalty, and makes it a win-win for both consumers and retailers.”
When asked about specific types of information they would share, 63% of respondents said they would share the types of offers they prefer; 61% said they would share the brands they buy; and 60% would share the products they purchase.
On the mobile front, consumers remain more cautious. In fact, 76% of consumers indicated they have mixed feelings or find it somewhat undesirable to be geo-targeted on their mobile device.
“Online privacy is a complex issue and there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ answer, but consumers are willing to share data when there is an equitable value exchange," Cell added.
Dunkin’ Brands appoints CIO
Canton, Mass. — Dunkin’ Brands Group, the parent company of Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, announced the appointment of Jack Clare to the position of CIO. He previously served as VP, IT and CIO, Yum! Restaurants International, the largest division of Yum! Brands.
In his role at Dunkin’ Brands, Clare will be responsible for directing all information technology resources, with a focus on supporting the company’s franchisee community to drive restaurant profitability through technology.