I saw a LOT of people on line buying Christmas presents…..
Prime, UPS and FedEx trucks where doing circles around the blocks in my neighborhood….
And on line?
There were screaming ‘SALES” ads all OVER….
Seems things maybe actually coming back ….
Despite lingering inflation, Americans increased their spending this holiday season, early data shows. That comes as a big relief for retailers that had spent much of the year fearing the economy would soon weaken and consumer spending would fall.
Retail sales increased 3.1 percent from Nov. 1 to Dec. 24 compared with the same period a year earlier, according to data from Mastercard SpendingPulse, which measures in-store and online retail sales across all forms of payment. The numbers, released Tuesday, are not adjusted for inflation.
Spending increased across many categories, with restaurants experiencing one of the largest jumps, 7.8 percent. Apparel increased 2.4 percent, and groceries also had gains.
The holiday sales figures, driven by a healthy labor market and wage gains, suggest that the economy remains strong. The Federal Reserve’s campaign to rein in high inflation by raising interest rates over the last few years has slowed the economy, but many economists believe a so-called soft landing is within reach…..
The economy in 2024 is on track to be described with a word that hasn’t been applicable yet this decade: Normal.
Why it matters: The extraordinary stresses of a pandemic, inflation, war, and the onset of tight money over the last four years have created a collective sense of an economy unmoored. But there is good reason to think 2024 will give way to something less chaotic.
- Pandemic-disrupted supply chains are pretty much righted. Inflation is already back near normal levels. Labor shortages have eased. The Federal Reserve is poised to cut interest rates next year.
What they’re saying: This forecast of a normal economy — simultaneously dodging the pain of high inflation, high interest rates, and high unemployment — isn’t some remote pipe dream. It’s the answer you get when you ask all kinds of decision-makers what they think is most likely.
- It’s the answer we got when we asked about 600 Axios Macro readers how they expect the economy to perform in 2024. They put 25% odds on a 2024 recession, down from 50% a year earlier.
- It’s also the answer from 141 CEO’s of America’s biggest companies. And panels of professional economic forecasters. And government agencies that project these things.
- “You’re seeing so many of the indicators coming back to normal,” Fed chair Jerome Powell said at a press conference this month. (He did caveat: “not all of them.”)
Context: Normalcy would be a radically different experience from the rest of the 2020s…..