Even though consumers report rising financial insecurity as inflation rages on, the Fed keeps raising interest rates, and the economy begins to slow, they say they intend to continue to prioritize spending on health and wellness – a new priority since the onslaught of COVID-19 – according to new research from Accenture. This is potentially good news as more in the custom integration industry look to offer various residential health and wellness solutions as part of a whole-home residential or commercial installation.
After 70+ days of declining gas prices and news that inflation has peaked, consumers are feeling a little bit better about things. And that is especially true of wealthier consumers, according to the latest reading from the Morning Consult/Axios Inequality Index – which includes consumer sentiment information broken down by income level.
See this latest reading of consumer sentiment by income[Read more…] about Consumer Sentiment by Income Turns Positive, Especially at Higher Incomes
High-Income Consumers are ‘Trading Down’ to High-Value Products
Walmart surprised analysts in its latest earnings report for its fiscal second quarter. After having issued a warning last month that its profit may drop as shoppers were feeling the effects of high inflation and focusing purchases on necessities like food rather than discretionary (and more profitable) items such as electronics. But on Tuesday, the company reported solid revenue increases and although earnings tightened a little, they still beat analysts’ forecasts.
In a tough economic environment for retailers, how did they do it? The company says they are attracting more middle- and high-income shoppers. These high-income consumers are ‘trading down’ – an effect that has been discovered in past times of economic slowdowns and recessions. And it seems to be happening now…
Read more about high-end customers trading down[Read more…] about Data Suggests Inflation-Impacted High-Income Consumers are ‘Trading Down’
This past Friday, the University of Michigan released a preliminary reading of its Index of Consumer Sentiment for the month of August. This survey, one of the more widely followed readings by economists on how consumers are feeling, showed a small but meaningful jump as consumers are feeling a little better about the future. However, the overall results were a bit mixed.
Learn more about consumer sentiment rebounding from a trough[Read more…] about Index of Consumer Sentiment Bumps Up as Inflation Declines
This month, the United Nations released its report on the latest global population trends and it delivered quite a few surprises…and even a bit of a shock. The data shows that major population shifts are coming…and coming soon. First, in a bit of a surprise, we learn that by November 15 of this year, the world population will total 8 billion people. The U.N. says that, in the world we hope to build, that population number will represent “8 billion opportunities to lead dignified and fulfilled lives.” But it also represents 8 billion reasons to remember “our shared responsibility to care for our planet.”
And, in a bit of a shock, we learn that by next year, China will be replaced as the most populous nation in the world by India, whose rate of population growth supersedes China’s. Surprised?
Learn more on the population shifts around the globe[Read more…] about Massive Population Shifts Coming; India to Overtake China in 2023
The Conference Board announced on Tuesday that consumer confidence in June, as measured by their Consumer Confidence Index, a key indicator of the state of mind of the U.S. consumer, has dropped to a reading of 98.7. This is the first time that the Index has been under its 100 reference level since a post-2020 pandemic recovery. Generally, a reading under 100 indicates a pessimistic consumer likely to cut back on spending.
This is the lowest reading for consumer confidence since February 2021.
See the latest on a declining consumer confidence index[Read more…] about Consumer Confidence in June at Lowest Level in 16 Mos
>Consumer Sentiment Hits Record Low in June
Things are changing in the economy faster now, causing a dramatic uptick in economic anxiety. The fuse was lit last Friday when the latest government data showed that inflation increased to 8.6% in May compared to last year. The reading on inflation had been widely expected by most economists to drop a point or two from the 8.3% rate of inflation reported in April. The news sent Wall Street into a tailspin as traders interpreted the increase in inflation as a heightened risk of recession.
See more on changing economic trends, like inflation[Read more…] about Economic Anxiety Builds with Unexpected Jump in Inflation in May; Stocks Turn Bearish
A new analysis that correlates consumer confidence by income level has produced a shocking red flag for any business that offers goods and services to the luxury customer – as do many custom integrators. Fire up your sensors and watch closely to see if clients in your market are subject to this alarming trend.
See more on a shift in the attitude of the luxury customer[Read more…] about Serve a Luxury Customer? Beware! An Alarming Red Flag Has Just Emerged
What Will the Impact of This Trend Be on Custom Integration?
With COVID now seemingly in decline, on Monday Google employees (Googlers?) began the process of returning to work at the company’s various headquarter and other office locations around the country. The company is requiring they work at least three days a week in the office, continuing to work remotely for the other two.
Google is hardly alone in pulling employees back to the office, Apple employees return next week and most major companies have announced dates for office life to begin again. Will this kill remote work and have an impact on the custom integration business?
Read more on this new return to work period[Read more…] about As Companies Have Employees Return to Office, Is This the End of Remote Work?
For three straight months now, consumer sentiment has declined as the world faces war in Europe, soaring global gas prices, price inflation on a wide range of consumer goods, and lingering supply chain issues. As measured by the widely followed University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment released earlier this month, the index is nearing its lowest level in 11-years.