Published on : Sunday, October 12, 2014
The Index tracks consumer cash flow as an indicator of future consumer spending1.
“A rise in real wages boosted the Index this month,” said Daniel Bachman, Deloitte’s senior U.S. economist. “Although unemployment claims remain at the level of the previous month, seeing them continue to hover around the 300,000 mark is a positive sign for the labor market.
The uptick in wages — although only of one month’s duration — is also consistent with the improving labor market.
If employment and wages continue this positive trajectory, consumers are likely to respond with more confidence and higher spending.”
The Index, which comprises four components — tax burden, initial unemployment claims, real wages and real home prices — increased to 4.21 this month from 4.11 last month.
“Steady economic improvements influencing consumer spending point to a more optimistic outlook for the year-end shopping season,” said Alison Paul, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP and retail and distribution sector leader.
“With the holidays beginning, an economy on a more even keel will be a welcome sign for retailers. Deloitte is forecasting a 4 to 4.5 percent increase in overall holiday sales this year, as consumers’ spending levels are likely to increase on the heels of personal income, job and stock market gains.
Holiday cheer may be making a comeback as families look to release pent-up demand and regain confidence in the economy.”
Highlights of the Index include:
Tax Burden: The tax rate has been effectively unchanged with a marginal increase to 11.8 percent.
Initial Unemployment Claims: Claims increased back over the 300,000 mark to 303,000, but still were down 10.3 percent from the same period last year.
Real Wages: Real hourly wages were up 0.5 percent from last month as well as the same period last year increasing to $8.86 this month.
Real Median New Home Price: New home prices fell slightly 1.4 percent from the prior month to $116,000, but prices are still 5.9 percent higher than the same period last year.