Dwindling savings and changing consumer tastes have hit Target hard

May 22, 2024
Meanwhile, its competitors are doing pretty well, including Walmart, where groceries account for 60% of sales.
Most of that extra cushion in people’s savings accounts from the pandemic is now gone, says Columbia professor Brett House.
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Retail sales figures suggest consumers are pulling back

May 15, 2024
The latest figures, for April, suggest that rising prices, high interest rates and depleted pandemic savings may finally be weighing on spending.
In surveys, consumers report they’re increasingly worn down by inflation, said Morning Consult's Claire Tassin.
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Americans are saving less. That might actually be a sign of economic strength.

Apr 26, 2024
If interest rates fall, expect savings rates to do the same.
A lot of people might still be holding on to some of the money they tucked away earlier in the pandemic, says Tim Quinlan, senior economist at Wells Fargo.
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U.S. GDP grew by 1.6% in the first quarter, slower than expected

Apr 25, 2024
This marks the end of a six-quarter streak of GDP growth of 2% or more. But the downshift might not be cause for worry just yet.
The good news: consumer spending, the force that’s been buoying economic growth for months, still looks solid. The bad news: business leaders aren’t feeling quite as confident.
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Retail sales climbed to a higher-than-expected 0.7% in March

Apr 15, 2024
Consumers are still spending, but that looks a little different now than it has the past few years.
Spending at nonstore retailers — like Temu or Amazon — rose 2.7% last month.
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Consumers might wish for prices to drop, but here's why deflation is not a good thing

Mar 12, 2024
Most of the time deflation is a signal of a struggling economy. Disinflation — when prices still increase, just more slowly — is the goal.
Once prices go up, it’s unusual for them to drop.
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The art of the private label brand

Mar 5, 2024
And why Target considers them key to keeping customers spending.
Private label sales reached an all-time high in 2023. Target has over 45 of its own private label brands.
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For public good, not for profit.

What do falling inflation and rising incomes mean for consumer spending?

Feb 29, 2024
The January PCE report showed inflation easing further but still significant. Moderation in spending could also continue, analysts say.
Wage growth was resilient in January, but Social Security and other factors added to income gains.
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In the “girl” era, are women really splurging for fun?

Feb 29, 2024
Economic disadvantages like the wealth gap persist, despite talk of the “she-conomy."
Since the pandemic began, single women and other lower-wealth groups saw larger percentage gains in their wealth than their higher-wealth counterparts. Hernández Kent said that’s primarily because it’s easier to double a small amount of money.
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Why do we measure consumers' feelings?

Feb 26, 2024
Consumer sentiment and confidence indexes are used in forecasting, which influences planning and investment. But feelings can be tricky.
Sentiment and confidence, says professor Sasha Indarte, are "related to people's behavior and decisions." That influences what companies and government plan for and invest in.
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