Varying consumer spending reports paint different retail picture
As the economy continues to improve, there have been strong signs of the recovery, including increased confidence among merchants and consumers within the retail industry.However, there have alsobeen some recent conflicting reports that are paintingvery different pictures of the sector and how it will fare in the coming months.
The Deloitte Consumer Spending Index decreased for the month of December, coming to a reading of 3.81. In November, the index stood at 3.96, but was a decline for the first time in a year. The indexanalyzes four factors – tax burden, first-time unemployment claims, real home prices and real wages – as indications of how consumers will be spending their money in the coming months.
On the other hand, U.S. retail sales increased in December, according to NBC News. Statistics from the Commerce Department showed that the figure jumped 0.5 percent from the previous month, meaning that consumers are increasingly becoming confident in the economy and their finances, despite the fiscal cliff negotiations that took place at the end of 2012.