When consumers receive an income, those funds can go into savings or spending. Consumer spending is the measurement of funds dispersed (not in savings) and that can go into goods and services that consumers deem warranted. This can include durable goods, such as washing machines, and non-durable goods, such as food. As the U.S. economy is comprised of over 70% consumer spending, this is a very important piece of economic data.
Visa Inc. (NYSE/V), the credit card company, recently published its Retail Spending Monitor report, which keeps track of consumer spending in the U.S. The report shows that, excluding autos and gas, retail sales went up by 4.5% in April 2015.Big Increase in Consumer Discretionary SpendingThings look quite good as far as Visa is concerned.. Read More
The chart below shows us that between April and August of this year, home prices in the U.S. declined. The S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index is only released 60 days after each month’s end, so while data for September and October are not yet available, based on what I’m about to tell you, five years after the Great Recession, the. Read More
On November 30, Switzerland’s citizens will cast a very critical vote.Through a referendum, they will vote for or against the Swiss National Bank increasing its gold bullion reserves to 20%, the central bank halting the selling of gold, and the storing of gold bullion in the country. (Source: Kitco News, September 30, 2014.)If the. Read More
If you follow the financial news, it feels like the stock market is moving higher and higher…a situation in which investors often feel they are missing out.But the reality of the situation is very different. So far this year, almost eight full months in, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up only three percent.Would you buy stocks with. Read More
A good gauge for me on how consumers in the U.S. economy are faring has always been the statistics coming out of Wal-Mart.Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE/WMT) reported its operating income in its second quarter (ended July 31, 2014) declined by 2.4%. Its subsidiary, Sam’s Club (wholesale store), saw its operating income, after taking. Read More