Deloitte Consumer Spending Index declines in June
New York City The Deloitte Consumer Spending Index declined in June for the second consecutive month, once again due to weakness in real wages and the housing market. The Index attempts to track consumer cash flow as an indicator of future consumer spending.
“Real hourly earnings, after experiencing growth in 2009, have deteriorated in 2010 and continue to drag on the Index,” said Carl Steidtmann, chief economist with Deloitte Research, a part of Deloitte Services LP, and author of the monthly Index. “The other negative contributor appears in real home prices, which resumed their downward trend after a short, two-month upward climb. However, initial unemployment claims remain a bright spot in the Index, with the employment picture slowly improving and initial claims showing a consistent six-month decline. While the tax rate remains at historically low levels, the tax burden may start to edge higher in coming months as new tax legislation goes into effect.”
The Index, comprising four components — tax burden, initial unemployment claims, real wages and real home prices — dropped back to 4.5%, from an upwardly revised gain of 4.93% a month ago.
“As retailers head into the back-to-school season, they should concentrate not only on attracting customers but also converting them into buyers,” said Alison Paul, vice chairman and Deloitte’s retail leader in the United States. “Retailers that can entice shoppers by pulling the right customer conversion levers and provide a helpful and exciting cross-channel shopping experience may be better positioned to lead the pack this back-to-school season.”
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Carrefour Q2 sales rise 6.3%
Paris ( July 15, 2010 ) Carrefour SA, the world’s second-largest retailer behind Wal-Mart Stores, said Thursday that its revenue increased 6.3% in the second quarter.
The French retailer credited growth in Latin America and Asia for the strong performance.
Carrefour said that it also gained market share in France, which accounts for 40% of its sales. According to reports, improving the company’s performance in its home country has been a top priority for the new CEO Lars Olofsson, who took the helm last year.
Revenue rose to euro24.92 billion ($31.97 billion) in the three months through June, from euro23.44 billion a year ago.
Sales rose 34% in Carrefour’s Latin American stores, and 21% in Asia. French sales edged up 2.7%.
Revenue in Europe, excluding France, fell 2.9% after a significant restructuring program in Belgium, where at least 1,700 workers are being laid off and stores closed.
Carrefour opened or acquired 293 new stores in the quarter.
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College student spending expected to rise
New York ( July 15, 2010 ) A study by Alloy Media + Marketing released Wednesday found that college students — which numbers are increasing by 6% from 15.1 million last year to 16 million in 2010 — are projected to increase their spending 13%, from $270 billion in 2009 to $306 billion this year.
The 10th Annual College Explorer Study also found that discretionary spending among college students is set to increase 10% from $62.7 billion to $69 billion.
The new spending is going to such categories as automotive, entertainment, personal-care products and technology, with the exception of cell phones/PDAs, where spending is stagnant.
The survey found that male students are more likely to direct discretionary spending to entertainment and technology, while female students take the lead in clothing, shoes, cosmetics and cell phones.
Forty-two percent of college students surveyed said they believe the economy will improve this year, compared with 31% for the 35+ U.S. population at large.
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