Household Spending

2016 Outlook Restrained by Price & Online Impact

The macro trend that matters most for household spending in 2016—beyond the impact of the shift online—is a sustained and deepening letup in price inflation in many goods categories. The biggest impact will come from food prices, which are forecast to…


Household Spending: Still Restrained Despite Pickup

Household spending perked up at grocery, big-box, and apparel stores in November. But the overall pace of retail spending remains modest and skewed toward certain places—especially online. The holiday-related uptick is evident in month-to-month growth (i.e., October to November). However, growth…


Price Trends: Where the Spending Impact is Big

Spend more on school books. Save on school clothes. Those are among the spending choices facing households as suggested by the latest numbers on U.S. consumer prices. Eggs, child care, hospital services, and prescription drugs are among the other specific categories—besides…


Household Spending: Discipline Evident in Retail Trends

Save here. Spend there. That’s the ongoing pattern in the latest retail sales numbers. It suggests a disciplined approach to household budgets remains the rule—even when households might be able to afford more. Households continue to spend at a relatively weak-to-modest…


Retail Spending Keeping to a Modest-to-Weak Pace

Households are sustaining a modest-to-weak pace overall in retail sales, but there are pockets of stronger spending at home-related and online retailers. The weak spending remains focused at electronics stores and big-box mass retailers. New weakness is emerging at grocery stores, as…


Expect Holiday 2015 Spending to be Deceptively Weak

The holiday will be “deceptively” weak because households continue to spend at a healthy place in many non-retail categories and online. The spending weakness, however, will remain focused in the traditional retail measures that get inordinate attention during the holidays. See…