Some Iowa stores are already displaying their Christmas decorations, but one market analyst is taking something of a Grinch’s view on the likelihood of a prosperous season ahead. Creighton University economics professor Ernie Goss says many consumers are still hunkered down and will keep their year-end spending in check.
Goss says, “I expect holiday buying to probably be up from last year but it’s going to be up maybe one to two-percent which, of course, is just around the rate of inflation.” He says the holiday shopping season will be slightly better than last year… “…but not much better,” Goss says.
“We are still seeing the recessionary economy that’s weighing on holiday buying, and certainly rising unemployment and job losses will continue to weigh on any holiday buying that we’re going to see.” Some experts say the country is no longer in a recession but Goss says all the economic stimulus we’re seeing is from the federal government and many consumers are continuing to struggle.
“The increases we have seen thus far in the overall economy have really come from the government and unfortunately, the consumer, which makes up two-thirds or 70% of the economy, that consumer remains under pressure with higher unemployment rates, job losses, and that’s where the real problems lie.” Goss says although conditions in the Midwest are better than in other parts of the country, there are still troubled roads here.