Consumers catching the drift

Preliminary reports suggest that US holiday sales for the key two months October to Dec, rose .7% this year. This compares with a 2% increase during the same period last year and a 3 to 4% increase that many retail analysts had expected. See: US Holiday Retail Sales Growth Weakest since 2008.

Disappointing sales have left retailers over-stocked heading into 2013. This suggests aggressive discounting in the days and weeks ahead as sellers focus on liquidating inventory. High debt levels, low savings rates, under-employment, fiscal worries and high profile tragedies all serve to make consumers selective with what they buy today. In addition even those who can afford to buy have caught on to the perks of a de-leveraging world: lots of supply and weak demand lead to lower and lower prices so there is no rush or urgency to buy discretionary items. Cash and patience are king. Good things come to those who can wait.

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7 Responses to Consumers catching the drift

  1. rolling stall says:

    Yeah, and I keep waiting for that 700 gold you promised us.

  2. First of all I never promise anything about market prices. I am not that dumb. But trends have a history of mean reverting and the jury is still out–gold is down more than 13% since 2011…

  3. And Gold company shares? down 33% since 2011…but who is counting.

  4. rolling stall says:

    Thanks for those links. I kind of grazed through them (kind of dry and awfully long) but I’ll side with the latter two. The first one was dumb.

    That said, I’ll stick with my gold bullion (NOT the gold miners) and I’ll go one further: 2013 will be the year gold really plays catch-up and in the end, in December 2013 gold bullion will have surprised everyone to the upside. No price predictions, thats a fool’s game, but the trend will most definitely be up.

    $ 700.00 per ounce? For that price to occur, they would have to find some gigantic discovery of it, unbeknownst to anyone right now. Maybe that is why the Russians are going to stop letting Americans adopt Russian babies.

    Either way, its an economic hot war just beginning to bubble.

  5. Roberta says:

    Yeah, the Oblabbinator blew it this year for most retailers. He scared everyone into thinking they either have to buy guns now or never; so what did they do? – they spent their money on guns. In record numbers. Nobody had money to spend on anything else.

    The Oblabbinator IS the gun sales-man of the year!!!!!

    Ironically his policy of extreme deficit spending has many people thinking there will be an economic collapse soon and therefore they need to stock up on survival gear. Just like Ms. Alanza in Connecticut. He is something to be proud of isn’t he? NOT!

  6. rolling stall says:

    Pretty good post Roberta. The Oblabbinator. Gun salesman of the year!

    That said, I had a brief talk with the butcher at the local food mart (he is Hispanic, and does cleaning on the side for cash, so that is the connection here). And when I saw him I called him 47. He said hi and I said hello 47.
    And he looked at me and said why are you calling me 47. And I said thats because you, the 47% who voted the big O back in outvoted the 45%, thats me. Your guy won, but that was the bad guy. And furthermore, I mentioned the 47% are the takers (non-taxpaying types) and we are the 45% givers, or taxpayers.

    So he comes out, wishes me a Happy New Year and starts talking about the fiscal cliff, and what does it mean. I told him it means that I won’t be hiring you anymore because my money is going to Washington, are you happy dude?

    So he said, what should he do. I said, well probably you should drop your drawers, bend over and take it like a man. He turned pale, but he got the message. Sorry for the crudeness, but sometimes the analogies help with the help.

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