Consumer sentiment maintains at five-year record high
New York — Consumer sentiment for the week ended May 27 maintained a near five-year high level, according to the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index on Thursday.
Crediting an improving economy and healing personal finances, Americans are expressing continued optimism, as the Index was at minus 29.7 in the period compared with minus 29.4 a week earlier. The margin of error for the figure is 3 percentage points.
According to Bloomberg, views on the current state of the economy matched a mid-April reading as the strongest since January 2008.
Still, the total index has shown little forward momentum since reaching a five-year high of minus 28.9 in April.
“Sustained improvement in employment, gasoline prices and equities, which has created a modest wealth effect among consumers at the upper end of the income spectrum, has continued to support consumer confidence,” said Joseph Brusuelas, a senior economist at Bloomberg LP in New York. “Overall sentiment may stall near these levels without a commensurate increase in wages and salaries down the income ladder.”
The Commerce Department revealed that gross domestic product rose at a 2.4% annualized rate in the quarter, revised from the 2.5% pace initially reported. Household purchases climbed at a 3.4% pace, almost twice as fast as the prior quarter’s 1.8% gain.
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Ebay, Walmart and McDonald’s tops for in-store charity donations
Chicago — Ebay, Walmart and McDonalds are tops when it comes to in-store charity donations, according to a study by Cause Marketing Forum that ranked the largest consumer donations at the point-of-sale last year. More than $358 million was raised in 2012 through a total of 63 corporate-backed charity checkout campaigns identified by Cause Marketing.
“American companies are bonding with consumers, turning on employees and raising big bucks for worthy groups by requesting donations at the point-of-sale,” stated David Hessekiel, president of Cause Marketing Forum. “This study is the first to recognize the leading programs, to measure how much they raise and to share best practices that will help companies and causes produce even more successful point of sale fundraising campaigns in the future.”
The largest in-store program of 2012 was a six-week Miracle Balloon Campaign by Walmart and Sam’s Club that raised $41.6 million to benefit Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Since 1987, the annual campaign by Walmart and Sam’s Club has raised more than $556.8 million for CMNH.
The top donation-producing program in 2012 was eBay Giving Works, which generated more than $54 million for U.S. nonprofits. The year-long program encourages sellers to earmark a percentage of their sales proceeds to charity and also invites buyers to make voluntary contributions.
Walmart’s and Sam’s Club’s Miracle Balloon Campaign brought in $41.6 million to benefit the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Since 1987, the annual campaign by Walmart and Sam’s Club has raised more than $556.8 million for CMNH.
At McDonald’s, the chain’s coin donation box program, generated $27.9 million to Ronald McDonald House Charities via coins collection at register.
Alco Stores names senior VP
Abilene, Kan. — Alco Stores said Thursday that it has promoted Ricardo Clemente to senior VP, human resources, store operations and loss prevention.
Clemente joined the chain in 2011 as a district manager, most recently serving as VP stores and human resources.
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