consumerspending

America Tightens Its Belt, Lowers Debt

According to a recent report, Americans are spending less, saving more, and paying off their credit cards. But while debt reduction is good news for America's wallets, is it bad news for the economy?

Coffee Still Reigns as U.S. Java King

Despite the specialty-coffee craze for lattes, cappuccinos and other blended and frozen drinks, most caffeine addicts still opt for a regular cup of coffee, according to a new survey by Technomic.

Why Consumers Spend More When They're Relaxed

It's no secret that a relaxing environment can keep customers more satisfied. But a new study shows that shoppers also rate products' values higher when they're relaxed. Here's why it might be better to hold off on buying until you're less calm.

Why Some Consumers Remain Confident

U.S. economic confidence fell slightly in the first half of this year compared to the same period last year. But consumers in the District of Columbia and states such as Maryland, Virginia, Utah and Massachusetts kept their confidence up. Here's why.

Gas Prices Start Falling After Oil Decline

It looks like consumers are finally starting to see lower prices at the pump, with auto club AAA reporting a modest decline in gas prices this week. The drop comes after crude oil prices have fallen 20% since July. What does this mean for the economy?

Researchers: Open Dressing Rooms Could Lower Sales

Consumers who don't feel good about their body image are less likely to purchase something they try on if they see an attractive shopper wearing the same thing, according to a study in the August issue of the Journal of Consumer Research.

Before Market Slide, Americans Were Losing Confidence

Even before the latest stock-market plunge, U.S. consumer confidence was already sliding downward, according to a Fannie Mae survey released Monday. Some 70% of respondents say the economy is heading in the wrong direction.

Retailers Post Solid July Sales

July retail sales were solid, with Costco, Macy's, JC Penney, Nordstron and Saks Fifth Avenue all beating expectations. Craig Johnson, president of Customer Growth Partners, the retail consultancy, says we could be having the best back-to-school selling season since 2006.

U.S. Consumers: Done Spending, or Ready to Restart?

Consumer sentiment is at its lowest level in two years, while the so-called "Misery Index" stands at a three decade-high. And it's true: Americans aren't spending as robustly as they once were. But when you look at the numbers, it becomes clear that U.S. consumers aren't down for the count just yet.

Back-to-School Spending Forecast to Rise 3.8%

Class, today's lesson in back-to-school shopping is what grownups call a good news/bad news situation. First, the goods news: Back-to-school spending is expected to increase over last year, according to the retail analyzer ShopperTrak. The bad news: Shoppers won't be coming to the store as much.

'Divorce Starts': A Leading Indicator for Home Sales?

While not everyone whose marriage ends rushes out to break ground on a new home, some real estate agents say divorcing spouses make up at least a third of their clients. With the economy impacting divorce trends and marital splits pushing spending trends, should economists be watching divorce rates when they chart the economic outlook?

As Foreclosures Rise, Consumer Spending Will Fall

Foreclosure activity picked up by 4% in June, and economic problems which include unemployment and falling homes prices will drive it relentlessly higher. That's bad news for homeowners, but the ripple effect from foreclosures goes beyond their immediate problems, and it will get much worse.

Retail Watchers Upbeat on Back-to-School Outlook

Firecracker remnants may still dot the nation's sidewalks, but retail forecasters are already talking about back-to-school shopping season -- and they're happy to do so. The improved economic environment is setting the stage for sales gains in everything from tablet computers to bold-colored jeans.

The Financial Landscape: An Economic Spilt Personality

Is the American recovery fast or slow? Depends on who you ask. The Wall Street Journal sees corporate America merrily rolling along while Main Street suffers. The New York Times warns that Wall Street is about to feel the pinch too. But nobody is all that optimistic about Greece today.

Will Stock Market Reverse Course in the Second Half?

The S&P 500 was up by only 4% in the first half of 2011, and it fell about 1% in the second quarter. Will it end there? A sell-off may be about to begin that would take the index lower for the full year. Here are half a dozen reasons why one of history's most impressive stock market runs may have ended.

Do 'Famous' and 'Best' Make Us More Likely to Buy?

It's fair to say that lots of companies exaggerate the excellence of their products, but do consumers buy the hype? Do we actually eat at restaurants because they say they're "famous" or patronize a business because it has "the best" on the sign?

Consumers Are Finding Cash for 'Small Luxuries'

As the economy improves, Americans have begun splurging again. But they're limiting their indulgences to haircuts, casual dining and coffee, while continuing to forego many bigger expenditures, like vacations and dining at expensive restaurants.

Winter Prediction: Extra Cold, But with Low Oil Prices

The mid-Atlantic region, hard hit last winter, will catch a break from the weather next time, says the Farmer's Almanac, but much of the rest of the U.S. will be colder than normal, New England in particular. For those who heat their homes with oil, however, lower prices should ease the season.

U.S. Auto Sales May Have Revved Up in July

Analysts' expectations are that sales rose to the highest levels of the year last month, reaching an annualized rate of 11.9 million units. Eager to make room for 2011 models on dealers' lots, automakers have hiked incentives, drawing summertime bargain-hunters.

Absolut Vodka Maker Pernod's Stock Falls After Disappointing Earnings

Pernod-Ricard (PDRDY), the maker of Absolut vodka and Chivas Regal whiskey, slumped in Paris trading after a disappointing earnings report. The maker of the luxury drinks fell as much as 3.8% this morning. Late yesterday, the company's earnings report said that revenue for the quarter rose "close to 3%", Bloomberg News reported. That was well below the average of 4.2% forecast by analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News.

Why Rising Consumer Spending Isn't Likely to Last

Retail sales appear to be on the upswing lately. But where are U.S. consumers getting the money from? Unfortunately, it seems to be coming from rising credit use and diminished saving. That's not exactly the formula for a consumer-led recovery.

Consumer Power Shifts from the U.S. to Asia

For decades, the world took its cues from American consumers when it came to tastes, styles and prices. No longer. The Great Recession has brought a dramatic realignment from the U.S. to Asia. That change is already sparking new business strategies in global companies.

12 things you shouldn't buy in 2010

Who among us doesn't own a closet full of toys, tools, clothes and electronics that we just had to have, only to find after we made the purchase that...

'Who's Who' ripoff preys on your ego

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3417/3396540397_009a24dcac.jpgI must be really important, because two "Who's Who" publications have chosen me for inclusion in their publications. The e-mails arrived in my...