Continued signs that the economy is picking up are as welcome as spring blossoms and new growth poking through the frozen winter ground. They say that March weather comes in like a lion and out like a lamb – perhaps the economy will follow suit, if financial reports are any indicator. Increased income and spending, however small, are welcome signs of relief.
Newly released numbers from the US Department`s Bureau of Economic Analysis show that:
- Unemployment rates are at their lowest point since August 2011 and
- Personal income (Average Salary) increased by $37.4 billion, or 0.3%, in January.
- Disposable income (The money we can spend) rose by $14.1 billion, or 0.1 percent.
- Personal Consumption Expenditures (Our spending) increased by $23.2 billion, or 0.2%.
That 0.2% increase in spending was less than economists had hoped for, and some sources say that after adjusting for inflation, spending was actually flat, butaccording to Bloomberg Business Week, The Institute for Supply Management says consumer purchases in January rose 0.4% – the biggest gain they`ve seen in four months.
And Retailers already counting profits…
Another indicator that spending may be on the rise is that Wal-Mart increased their dividend share to $1.59 from $1.46 – a 9% increase that shows a vote for consumer confidence. CEO Mike Duke says, “Our core Wal-Mart U.S. business is back on track.”
Michael Germanovsky of Credit-Land.com offers his outlook on this news: “Our Company monitors new credit card borrowing. At end of February, new borrowing from credit card companies was down 15% compared to November of 2011. We saw banks surge in December promotions. Despite studies done in January that showed a more credit conscious consumer, I believe that the increased spending trend in February got a push from easier borrowing standards in December and impulsive purchasing around the holiday season. This Bureau of Economic Analysis news about increasing personal income is certainly a breath of fresh air.”
Having a Shoegazm may be good for Economy!
After the holidays, many people are burned out on buying. Spending on gifts, parties and travel adds up to big credit card charges to pay off in January. However, as the weather warms up, consumers may be ready to celebrate the coming of spring and step up their shopping habits.The increase in disposable income means that theaverage consumer has just a little extra cash in her pocket to spend on the little things that make life more fun – like, for instance, shoes.
The latest trend in online shopping may be “shoe clubs” such as Shoe Dazzle and Just Fabulous, which offer style-seekers an easy way to get a new pair of shoes delivered to their doorsteps. Both sites offer a shoe-of-the-month starting at only $40 a pair and chosen based on a quiz that determines a customer`s personal style.
One quiz begins by asking women which celebrity`s style most closely matches her own: Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Lopez, or Nicole Ritchie? After rating more of your favorite celebrities, outfits, stores, and styles, you can sign up for a free account and you`ll receive a pair of new shoes every month.
Both Shoe Dazzle and Just Fabulous are associated with stylish celebrities – Kimora Lee Simmons is the president creative director of Just Fabulous, while Kim Kardashian is thechief fashion stylist and co-founder of Shoe Dazzle.