Consumer spending is making a comeback, and on everything from iPhones to eating out.
Other sectors may still be weak but consumer confidence is up. And it’s showing.
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Retail and restaurant sales rose 1.1% during September on a seasonally-adjusted basis. After a disappointing spring, sales have now increased for three consecutive months.
And women are not the only ones spending the money. Men are driving fashion sales—that’s right, men—online.
Online shopping sites that focus on convenience and a fast shopping experience are gaining real
traction with men in a world of brick-and-mortar department stores traditionally designed for women.
There’s a new generation of men who care about how they look, who love to shop, and who love to talk about the brands they like.
Male-focused startup sites are giving stiff competition to the likes of Gap Inc., Banana Republic, and J Crew Group Inc. About $73 billion—an increase of 73%--is the number projected in sales by 2016. That’s faster growth
than the electronics and music industries.
A startup site that launched in February that makes personalized recommendations for men raised $5 million from investors last week.
Spending and confidence number improvement along with the creation of new jobs and rising home sales are a recipe for economic growth.
But skeptics and the Fed are not ready to breathe a sigh of relief just yet. Economic conditions in Europe and China, in particular, still hold the potential to be a drag on the recovery
. The Fed has promised to continue QE3 until the unemployment rate reaches acceptable levels.
The fact remains that, for now, the domestic economy is doing better despite continued weakness on the global economic scene. Hopefully, it will become strong enough to cause the global economy to also change course.