"Consumer confidence rises for first time this year."
As reported by Chain Store Age*, "The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index rose slightly to 107.2 in March, up from 105.7 in February. It was the first time the metric has increased in three months."
Wow! Is that ever a stray ray of sunshine!
We always look to Consumer Confidence levels as a leading indicator for retailers.
- Maybe you, like us, have been absorbing the daily headlines about the awful situation in Ukraine, the drumbeat of news about inflation, the consumer resistance to rising prices, etc, etc.
- Meanwhile, how many times have headlines about the lowest unemployment rate in years, or, the millions of jobs created, been repeated? Not so much.
But those two facts go a long way toward explaining why consumer confidence would be trending up. People have jobs, many have received wage increases, Meanwhile, Covid is receding from our daily attention, and spring is in the air.
Yes, restraint is advised. According to Lynn Franco, senior director of economics indicators at The Conference Board, "These headwinds are expected to persist in the short term and may potentially dampen confidence as well as cool spending further in the months ahead.”
But, true to our retail roots, let's keep focused on the positive! Especially, keep the focus on the particular communities where your stores operate. Whatever the mood is there is what matters to you, of course.
But wait! Did you really know this? "Consumer confidence rises for first time this year." Hooray!
* Marianne Wilson, Editor-in-Chief, Chain Store Age, 3/29/2022