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U.S. General Merchandise Unit Sales Fell 7% in April, as Retail Revenue Declined 1%, Reports NPD

As demand softens, the retail product mix needs to attract both value seekers and premium buyers

The consumer’s willingness to spend has been crucial to maintaining a healthy level of retail performance throughout the pandemic, but demand has been softening for several months. April 2022 U.S. general merchandise unit sales were 7% lower than a year ago, creating a 1% decline in sales revenue, according to The NPD Group.

“Higher retail prices have buffered demand declines but their escalation, combined with rising gas prices..."

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May 9 9:59 AM, General News



More Consumers Hunting for Bargains this Easter

Consumers plan to spend an average $169.79 this year on Easter-related items, according to results of the annual survey released today by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics. A total of 80 percent of Americans will celebrate the holiday and spend a collective $20.8 billion, down slightly from last year's forecast of $21.6 billion.

“Consumers are eager to return to their pre-pandemic holiday traditions, particularly as it relates to purchasing food and gifts for in-person celebrations this Easter,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay...

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Mar 29 8:00 AM, General News


Oil Prices Slump As UAE Signals Support for Increased Output by OPEC

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has incessantly continued since it began on February 24. Multiple attempts by delegates from Ukraine for a ceasefire have failed, spurring a mass exodus of over 2 million refugees from Ukraine. 

Oil prices have surged this month on exacerbated supply chain interruptions amid the Russia-Ukraine war. Brent crude oil, the international benchmark, climbed to $139 barrel on Monday, the highest level since 2008. On Wednesday, however, Brent crude oil slumped by 13% to $111.10 per barrel, posting its steepest one-day decline in about two years. 

The decline was propelled by indications of U.S. progress in its efforts to increase oil production from other sources. On Wednesday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken encouraged statements from the United Arab Emirates that they support increased oil production by OPEC+, a group of 13 oil-exporting nations...

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Mar 10 9:00 AM, UB Newswires


What the U.S. Ban on Russian Oil Could Mean for U.S. Consumers

On Tuesday, President Biden announced a U.S. ban on Russian oil and gas imports as a measure to target “the main artery of Russia's economy”. The ban also applies to Russian coal, according to the White House briefing. 

"We're banning all imports of Russian oil and gas energy. That means Russian oil will no longer be accepted in U.S. ports, and the American people will deal another powerful blow to Putin's war machine," said Biden. 

The ban coincides with record-high gas prices, not adjusted for inflation. According to AAA, the national average climbed to $4.25 a gallon today, up 8 cents from yesterday and a 16.3% increase from the week-ago figure. Consumers have not seen gas prices this high since the summer of 2008. Californians are currently facing the largest expense at $5.57 per gallon on average...

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Mar 9 9:17 AM, UB Newswires


U.S. Bans Imports of Russian Oil, Natural Gas, and Coal

Earlier today, President Biden announced that he will sign an Executive Order to "ban the import of Russian oil, liquefied natural gas, and coal to the United States". The sanction against Russia is a result of "widespread bipartisan support that will further deprive President Putin of the economic resources he uses to continue his needless war of choice". 

According to a fact sheet released by the White House, today's Executive Order bans:

  • The importation into the United States of Russian crude oil and certain petroleum products, liquefied natural gas, and coal. Last year, the U.S. imported nearly 700,000 barrels per day of crude oil and refined petroleum products from Russia and this step will deprive Russia of billions of dollars in revenues from U.S. drivers and consumers annually.
     
  • New U.S. investment in Russia’s energy sector, which will ensure that American companies and American investors are not underwriting Vladimir Putin’s efforts to expand energy production inside Russia.
     
  • Americans will also be prohibited from financing or enabling foreign companies that are making investment to produce energy in Russia...
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Mar 9 7:59 AM, UB Newswires


NRF Chief Economist Says Inflation Isn’t Hitting Everyone the Same, but Will Still Play a Key Role 

Inflation is at a 40-year high but isn’t hitting all consumers as hard as top-line numbers might suggest, National Retail Federation Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said today. Nonetheless, consumer worries about rising prices could become self-fulfilling if workers demand higher wages to compensate and will play a role in the Federal Reserve’s efforts to bring inflation under control.

“After decades of relatively low levels, inflation is on everyone’s mind and has been making consumers and businesses..."

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Mar 8 9:08 AM, General News


North American Meat Institute to Secretary Vilsack: Scapegoating Industry Does Not Help Consumer

The North American Meat Institute (Meat Institute) today said the Secretary of Agriculture’s transparent attempts to scapegoat the meat and poultry industry to shift blame for inflationary prices will not help consumers.

“The Administration cannot ignore the fundamental principles of supply and demand,” said Meat Institute President and CEO Julie Anna Potts. “Americans are experiencing firsthand what the Secretary refuses to acknowledge, the effects of COVID and lack of labor are hurting consumers, and nothing proposed by the Secretary of Agriculture on the structure of the..." 

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Sep 15 8:50 AM, General News


The Factors Propelling Retail Food Sales Forward

Sales spiked significantly in 2020 (+14% from 2019 levels) due to the impact of the coronavirus, according to the update of Packaged Facts' benchmark coverage of retail food sales in Food Market Outlook 2021: Grocery Shopping, Home Cooking, & Food Preferences in the Waning Pandemic Period.

Consumers sharply curtailed dining out or using school cafeterias and instead did more grocery shopping to prepare and eat most meals and snacks at home. Going forward, retail grocery sales are projected to increase at a significantly lower rate in 2021 from this high base as...

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Sep 14 9:39 AM, General News


North American Meat Institute Statement on Consumer Prices for Meat and Poultry Products

The North American Meat Institute today issued the following statement about inflammatory statements regarding the meat and poultry industry and the price of consumer goods during a labor shortage and a global pandemic:

“As with almost every industry, meat and poultry packers and processors of all sizes have been, and continue to be, affected by the global pandemic and the inflationary trends that challenge the U.S. economy,” said Mark Dopp, Chief Operating Officer for the North American Meat Institute. “American consumers of most goods and services are..."

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Sep 10 8:52 AM, General News


Consumer Confidence Fell in August to Lowest Level since February

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index® declined in August, following a decrease in July (a downward revision). The Index now stands at 113.8 (1985=100), down from 125.1 in July. The Present Situation Index—based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions—fell to 147.3 from 157.2 last month. The Expectations Index—based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business, and labor market conditions—fell to 91.4 from 103.8.

“Consumer confidence retreated in August to its lowest level since February 2021 (95.2),” said...

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Sep 1 8:37 AM, General News


Surging Delta Variant Continues to Impact the Way Consumers Shop

Just as normalcy appeared to be on the horizon, surges of COVID-19 cases brought by the Delta variant are once again leaving many Americans in fear of what’s to come. Thirty percent of shoppers are more worried about COVID as Delta cases continue to rise, and 40 percent report feeling the same level of discomfort as they did one month ago. Of those concerned Americans, 43 percent report that the Delta variant is impacting the way they shop, and nearly half (47 percent) are more worried about shopping...

 

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Aug 23 8:33 AM, General News







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