70% of the Economy

Crossposted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Green Shoots.

And read the URL, not the Headline.

For 2012, Signs Point to Tepid Consumer Spending

By MOTOKO RICH and STEPHANIE CLIFFORD, The New York Times

Published: January 2, 2012

Even the seemingly robust holiday shopping season is raising concern. After a strong start on Thanksgiving weekend, a pronounced lull followed, causing retailers to mark down products heavily in the week before Christmas. While final numbers for the season are not in, analysts say they are worried that retailers had to eat into profits to generate high revenues.



Even some growth areas in the economy can be explained by tapped-out consumers. Take auto sales, which rose about 10 percent nationwide in 2011 from a year earlier.

“People can only hold onto their cars for so long,” said Romolo Debottis, new-car sales manager at Mike Bass Ford in Sheffield Village, a suburb of Cleveland. He said sales at the dealership should increase this year to 2007 levels, the prerecession peak. “A lot of them have done that above and beyond what they normally would, and they’re just ready to spend money and buy a new vehicle.”

Chrysler, Ford and General Motors report December vehicle sales

by CalculatedRisk

1/04/2012 10:25:00 AM

The key number for the economy is the seasonally adjusted annual sales rate (SAAR) compared to the last few months, not the year-over-year comparison provided by the automakers. Once all the reports are released, I’ll post a graph of the estimated total December light vehicle sales (SAAR) – usually around 4 PM ET.



The consensus is for sales to be unchanged from November at around 13.6 million SAAR.

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