Corporate America’s tough take on the consumer
To look at some of the recent economic data, one would think the consumer is in great shape.
The U.S. economy—70 percent of which is driven by consumer spending—grew 4.2 percent last quarter, even better than the originally reported 4.0 percent growth in GDP. The report, issued Thursday, also showed consumer spending rose 2.5 percent in the quarter, contributing 1.69 percentage points to overall GDP gain.
There are reasons for optimism. In August, consumer confidence surged to the highest level since 2007, according to the Conference Board. And those rosier feelings were echoed in a read on consumer sentiment released Friday by Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan.
Read More US confidence rose in August, shaking off doubts
Prices at the pump have been steadily falling with the price of oil, making for the cheapest gasoline on a Labor Day weekend since 2010.
In the month ended Aug. 10, restaurant traffic turned positive for the first time all year, with the number of people eating out up 0.3 percent, according to GuestMetrics.
Read More Less bad is good enough for teen retail—for now
Consumer Edge Research’s State of the U.S. Consumer report, which looks at net sales growth from U.S. divisions of 38 public consumer-facing companies showed momentum in August.
“Unlike the previous months, where the majority of consumer strength was seen almost exclusively among the high-income group, the low-income group showed a nice pickup in August, due to moderating gas prices,” according to the Consumer Edge report.