Sorry!! The article you are trying to read is not available now.
Thank you very much;
you're only a step away from
downloading your reports.

Conspicuous Consumption


Consumer spending on the rise - at least for now.

It looks like Armageddon can be postponed for at least one more month.

The National Association of Purchasing Management-Chicago, a nonprofit that seeks to strengthen procurement through education, research and communication in the Chicago area, reports that business activity edged up in June, easing fear that a slump in manufacturing was deepening.

The Association's business index rose from 49.1 in May to 49.6 in June. Fifty is the dividing line between growth and a slump, so this isn't rousing news. However, it suggests that the slump that began in February is at least slowing.

The index stood at 51.5 in January, 44.5 in February, 48.2 in March and 48.3 in April. Last year, the index averaged 54.4.

Consumers are spending their tax rebates, giving at least a temporary boost to the economy.

Consumer spending increased 0.8% in May - the biggest increase since November, the U.S. Commerce Department reported last week.

Income grew 1.9% -- the largest increase since September 2005 -- and inflation was lower than expected.

The big unknown is fuel prices. Will rising gasoline prices at the pump crimp future retail sales?

If nothing else, the Association's report means that manufacturing activity hasn't fallen off a cliff. If purchasing is the leading indicator, it may mean that the economy has bottomed out and could be picking up a little.

Keep an eye on companies such as Dell (DELL), and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) to gauge business spending and Wal-Mart (WMT), Target (TGT) and Macy's (M) to see if consumer spending holds up.
< Previous
  • 1
Next >
No positions in stocks mentioned.
The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

Copyright 2011 Minyanville Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Featured Videos