retail news in context, analysis with attitude

MarketWatch reports that the Conference Board has put the consumer May confidence index at 134.1, up from 129.2 in April, which it said was the highest it has been for the past six months.

The numbers were “spurred by a strong labor market,” the story says, apparently unaffected by high gas prices and increased labor tensions with China, though “the survey results were mostly compiled before trade talks between the U.S. and China suffered a big setback.”

The MarketWatch story goes on: “A separate survey that asks Americans how they view the economy in the present rose to a 18-and-a-half-year high of 175.2. The last time the index was higher was in December 2000. Another index that tracks how consumers expect the economy to behave six months from now rose to 106.6 from 102.7. The post-recession peak is 115.1, which was set last October.”
KC's View:
I believe that retailers and suppliers have to prepare for an inevitable economic downturn - there always will be another recession, and it will come sooner or later.

I do think that for some reason, consumers are in denial to a certain extent about some of the warning signs. Gas prices are steadily going up, and we’ll see how that impacts people this summer. And if trade problems persist, it’ll have an impact on the prices of a lot of products, which also will have an impact.