An Iowa State University economist says there’s been steady growth in consumer spending during holidays so far this year. Ron Prescott is a retail and small business specialist in the ISU department of economics.
“In all the different surveys for the holidays, there’s been this uptick in interest and spending by Americans all across the board,” Prescott says.
While overall U.S. consumer spending was flat in May, for example, retail spending associated with Mother’s Day was up. That was the case with Easter in April and Father’s Day in June as well. Prescott says holiday-related spending is up in all wage groups, too.
“I don’t see any blips on the screen when I look at the data,” Prescott says. “It’s just a steady increase.”
Iowa’s economic picture is also improving, as the State of Iowa collected a record amount of taxes in May and, in June, state tax revenue grew by 13.6 percent compared to June of last year. Over the last 12 months, state sales tax revenue has increased by about five percent. Prescott, the Iowa State University economist, says retailers are trying to lure shoppers in with more sales.
“People are taking these opportunities and these are like baby steps for the economy,” he says. “We’re not seeing the big-purchase items, but we’re certainly seeing the smaller items.”
In the past 12 months, overall state tax collections rose five percent — more than double what the experts had predicted. The state’s cash reserve and economic emergency fund are completely full, too.