retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Forbes reports that data released “by Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan showed that consumer sentiment rose in an index to 64.2 in October, from 60.9 the month before. The gain represented a five-month high for the index, and it topped the average expectation of economists polled by Thomson Reuters for 61.5.”

This suggests that it might actually be a decent holiday shopping season for retailers, who hope that a combination of heavy and early promotions combined with lower gas prices and a decline in savings rates could add up to a stronger bottom line.

The story notes that “the average economist outlook is for holiday sales to increase by 2.5%-3% this year,” though some are projecting stronger sales.

One thing that there seems to be general agreement on - e-commerce sales will be stronger this coming holiday season, perhaps up as much as 12 percent; the story notes that “the average shopper plans to do about 36% percent of their holiday shopping online, up from 32.7% last year, according to the National Retail Federation.”
KC's View:
This confidence just seems so fragile, as if one small event or economic number could shoot the whole thing to hell.