Posted by Larry Doyle on May 5th, 2011 8:58 AM |
With gasoline prices running upwards of $4.00-4.50/gallon, we should not be surprised that consumers are changing behaviors. How so? Let’s go online. In fact that is exactly what more and more consumers are doing as the Financial Times highlights, High Petrol Prices Fuel Jump in Online Shopping,
Online shopping grew by its fastest rate in nearly four years in the US last month as rising fuel prices prompted Americans to cut trips to malls and buy on the internet instead, according to MasterCard Advisors.
US consumers spent $13.8bn online last month, a 19.2 per cent jump from April last year, according to the SpendingPulse survey, which is based on spending on MasterCard credit cards and estimates of other forms of payment.
The increase is likely to outpace sales growth at bricks-and-mortar stores, due to be released on Thursday. The consensus of economists’ forecasts is that sales at stores open a year or more rose 7.7 per cent in April.
While consumer behavior changes, are we supposed to blindly accept the traditional methods of capturing and measuring retail purchases? Why should we be so archaic in this day and age? Why should we be so trusting of entities which will “tell us what they think we need to hear” and sugarcoat it in the process. (more…)
Posted by Larry Doyle on October 14th, 2010 7:26 AM |
Economics is the most inexact of sciences. As much as we may think we can understand our future economic landscape based upon the study of the past, a variety of twists, turns, and unknown challenges inevitably come upon us. This reality has never been more prevalent than in our ‘Uncle Sam’ economy circa 2010. Do not think for a second that the ‘grand wizards’ in Washington currently undertaking the massive financial experiment throughout our economy do not appreciate this. They do. They just would not admit it.
Can we look toward private enterprises in an attempt to ‘see through’ the Washington smoke and mirrors? In fact we can. I make no bones about my admiration for the work of Rick Davis at Consumer Metrics Institute. As Rick so boldly states, the work at CMI is focused on:
“Bringing the measurements of critical economic activities into the twenty-first century by mining tracking data for an understanding of what American consumers were doing yesterday.”
Well, what were our fellow Americans doing yesterday and the days before that? (more…)