HdL HeadLines calls out retail trends affecting the economy and HdL news to provide you with insight and support in your budget preparation and economic planning.
- Shortages, Inflation Curb U.S. Retail Sales in November
- Car Shortage Leads to Big Dip in New Car Sales in December
- Tourists are Back: L.A. Hotel Bookings Reach 100% of Their Pre-Pandemic Levels
- Jobless Claims Hit a New 52-Year Low
- Americans Plan Robust Spending this Holiday Season but Worry about Inflation, Supply Bottlenecks
- Chapman Forecast Says Recession Possible by 2023
- HdL Announcements
U.S. retail sales increased less than expected in November, likely payback after surging in the prior month as Americans started their holiday shopping early to avoid empty shelves. Retail sales rose 0.3% last month after surging 1.8% in October. Sales have now risen for four straight months. They increased 18.2% year-on-year in November. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast retail sales rising 0.8%.
Remember when the December airwaves were filled with commercials for new cars with big red bows on top as automakers urged you to buy your husband or wife a new set of wheels? You’re not seeing that this year. The shortage of new cars continues, and, if anything, it’s worse at the end of the year than it was back in the summer. That means there will be almost no end-of-the-year deals on new cars. “The automakers have figured out it’s not smart to spend money marketing cars that aren’t available on dealers’ lots,” Karl Brauer, executive analyst at iseecars.com stated.
Hotel bookings in Los Angeles returned to 100% of their pre-pandemic levels in October and November, considerably above the national average, as many innkeepers scrambled to keep up their standards amid staffing challenges and supply chain issues. L.A.'s comeback milestone was reported by international hotel commerce platform SiteMinder. And although Los Angeles hoteliers are doing better than most, the itch to travel domestically and perhaps visit friends and family is widespread as people look past the pandemic.
Weekly claims for unemployment benefits dropped to a new, multi-decade low last week, the Labor Department reported. At 184,000 claims, adjusted for seasonal swings, it was the lowest level of initial claims since September 1969, when the figure stood at 182,000. It was also a lower count than economists had predicted and further proof that America's job recovery is pushing ahead.
Americans plan to spend with gusto this holiday season despite concerns about the economy and inflation and worries that supply bottlenecks might delay the arrival of their gifts. The CNBC All-America Economic Survey finds that individuals, on average, plan to spend $1,004 on gifts, up 13% from the pandemic-depressed number last year, and the highest number since 2018. The survey of 800 adults across the country found 15% plan to spend more this year, up from 11% in 2020, and 35% plan to spend less, down from 39%.
Chapman University forecasters painted a mixed picture of local and national economies next year, with robust job and economic growth, but also with high inflation and rising mortgage rates likely to derail years of steady home price gains and a recession possible in just over a year. “The U.S. economy next year will be strong,” economics professor Jim Doti, Chapman’s former president and chief forecaster, said. “We’re looking at growth of 4.4%, which is roughly double pre-COVID years.” But, he added, “the real problem is longer-run trends. … I see an increasing likelihood of recession — possibly at the end of 2022 or even the start of 2023.”
HdL will be at the following upcoming events:
- Cal Cities City Managers Conference - February 2-4, 2022
- CSMFO Annual Conference - February 15-18, 2022
Subscribe to receive HdL legislative and regulatory updates, economic forecasts, industry headlines and more.