March 2017 – In December 2016, the consumer confidence index reached its highest level since August 2001, according to the Conference Board, a business member and research association. The 15-year record was matched with a 13-year high in the expectations index. Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at the Conference Board, called it a “post-election surge in optimism.”
At the same time, during November and December, shopping in brick-and-mortar stores was less than expected, but momentum picked up with online sales. The National Retail Federation estimated 108.5 million Americans shopped online during Black Friday weekend, while 99.1 million shopped in stores. An NRF survey found that the average in-store shopper spent $289.19, down from $299.60 in the previous year.
The trend highlights the growing popularity of Internet retailers, which has led to a 1,934% increase in market value for Amazon.com since 2006, while virtually every one of the other top 10 U.S. retailers has lost value.
foxnews.com, 12/27/16; investors.com, 12/27/16; visualcapitalist.com, 12/30/16; fortune.com, 11/28/16