HdL HeadLines calls out retail trends affecting the economy to provide you with insight and support in your budget preparation and economic planning.

HeadLines

 

In Spite of Worries About Inflation, Retail Leasing Has Thrived This Year

Strong consumer spending over the past year has prompted retailers to open more stores than they closed. But concerns about rising inflation and the economy this summer have led some to hit the pause button on expansion for now, according to retail analysts. The U.S. retail sector remains strong, as reflected in the latest store opening numbers from data firm. Coresight Research. Through the first six months of 2022, there have been 4,328 announced store openings and 1,912 announced closures, Coresight reports. 

  

Toys 'R' Us is Coming Back Soon

Once left for dead, Toys "R" Us is making a major comeback. The toy store brand will be just about everywhere for the holidays. Toys "R" Us will be in every US Macy's in the next few months, part of an expanded partnership with the toy retailer's parent company, WHP Global. The toy stores will range in size from 1,000 square feet in smaller locations to up to 10,000 square feet in flagship Macy's in Atlanta, Chicago, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York and San Francisco.

 

Amazon Prime Day Shoppers Buy Up Diapers, Snacks as Inflation Shifts Consumer Habits

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Instant Pots and Roombas are typically hot selling items during Amazon’s Prime Day event. But this year, consumers were more interested in dishwasher pods, diapers and snacks. Looking at some of the most popular items during Amazon’s two-day discount event provides a window into how record high inflation is shifting consumer spending habits. The consumer price index, a wide-ranging measure of goods and services prices, climbed 9.1% in June, a 41-year peak.

 

Retail Sales Up 1% in June, Easing Fears of a Recession

Consumers picked up their spending from May to June, underscoring their resilience despite painfully higher prices at the gas pump and in grocery aisles and allaying fears that the economy might be on the verge of a recession. U.S. retail sales rose 1% in June, from a revised decline of 0.1 % in May, the Commerce Department said. The figures aren't adjusted for inflation and so largely reflect higher prices, particularly for gas.

 

Bond Market is Flashing a Recession Warning--Again

A closely watched sign in the bond market that typically precedes a recession is flashing red for the third time this year. A host of other data don’t yet point to an imminent economic recession and much depends on the Federal Reserve achieving the delicate balance of taming inflationary pressures without slamming the brakes on economic growth. Its job just got harder after the June inflation report showed prices rising by 9.1% year over year, the fastest pace since November 1981, as the cost of gasoline, shelter, and groceries surged.

 

E-Commerce Sales to Exceed $1 Trillion This Year

FTI Consulting predicts online retail sales will hit the $1 trillion milestone in Q3 this year, a doubling from four years prior. In the early stages of the pandemic, shoppers avoided stores to contain the spread of Covid-19, driving up e-commerce spending and creating what FTI described as “four quarters of hypergrowth.” But now, shoppers are more anxious about high inflation and a potential recession that could upend their finances, the report said.

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New Car Sales Plunged in June, but Prices Didn't

Sales of new cars and trucks dropped sharply in June, but the prices buyers paid remained elevated because they were competing for limited supplies. While not every automaker has released its June sales numbers, enough of them have for industry experts to accurately project sales. Compared to June 2021, the numbers are sharply lower. Cox Automotive estimates that U.S. car sales came out to 1.2 million units, which is 7.5% lower than a year ago. For the second quarter, which ended June 30, sales are expected to be down by 19.3% when compared to the second quarter of 2021.

 

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