Economic pessimism among US consumers continues, according to a September 2011 Harris Poll. Forty-five percent think the economy will stay the same, 34% believe it will get worse and 21% think it will get better in the coming year. Breaking down economic conditions to a regional level, just one in ten Americans rate the economic condition of their region of the country as good (12%), 22% say it is neither good nor bad and two-thirds (65%) say it is bad.
- New-vehicle retail sales for September continue to improve, with the selling rate expected to be much stronger than in August, according to J.D. Power and Associates. September new-vehicle retail sales are projected to come in at 842,400 units, which represents a seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) of 10.3 million units. This marks the first time the retail selling rate would be above 10 million units since the 10.8 million-unit rate in April.
- In 2010, the US jewelry market emerged from the recession, posting a dramatic 7.5% increase in consumer expenditures from 2009 to 2010, after two successive years of negative growth, according to data from Unity Marketing. An increase in men’s jewelry sales drove much of the growth.
- Foodservice traffic was down or flat in most countries with the exception of China during Q2 2011, according to the NPD Group CREST Report. Traffic remained flat in the US but rose 15% in China.
- Americans’ confidence in the economy faltered last week, reversing the slight improvement seen in early September, and is now nearly as negative as it was throughout August after a steep decline in July. Gallup’s Economic Confidence Index for the week ending Sept. 25 is -52, compared with -54 in late August and -34 at the start of July. Confidence continues to run well below year-ago levels.
- Real gross domestic product, the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the US, increased at an annual rate of 1.3% in Q2 2011(that is, from the first quarter to the second quarter), according to the “third” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the first quarter, real GDP increased 0.4%.