Consumers in June feel the economy will remain the same short term, but are less upbeat about their outlook over the next six months.
June’s Consumer Confidence Index fell again, representing the fourth consecutive month of moderate declines.
The Index, representing the Conference Board’s monthly survey of consumer confidence, is now at 62, down from 64.4 in May. The Expectations Index dropped to 72.3 from 77.3, while the Present Situation Index rose to 46.6 from 44.9 last month.
Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board, said, “Consumers were somewhat more positive about current conditions, but slightly more pessimistic about the short-term outlook.”
Franco concluded that the improvement in current conditions, coupled with moderate softening in expectations, could mean “little change in the pace of economic activity in the near-term.”
In a separate report called “U.S. Risks to the Forecast: Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer,” Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services estimated the “odds of a double-dip to be 20 percent, down from a 25 percent risk in February and half the 40 percent high [it] estimated in [its] September Financial Notes report.”
S&P’s latest report presumes as a baseline a slow recovery from the June 2009 recession trough, but raised the question of two other scenarios: A typical “V”-shaped expansion or an “L”-shaped recession where the economy stagnates for years.
While the risks have diminished, they have not disappeared. The S&P sovereign team in the euro zone estimates a one-in-three risk of a Greek exit. In the U.S., job market improvements have reversed and there are increasing worries those gains were only temporary. Those factors plus other such as a limp housing recovery will likely keep the economic “recovery subdued,” the report concluded.
In a downside scenario, a double-dip recession possibility “takes hold in the third quarter of this year,” with the U.S. recovery halting as the euro zone tackles fiscal austerity, political issues and a credit crunch.
In a more positive scenario, an improving job market and a more rapid calming of the financial markets help relieve the strains on the U.S. economy. Moreover, consumer spending rebounds more than expected as Americans live beyond their means.
While the S&P report raised the possibility of a Japanese-style decline for years, it didn’t put forecast numbers to this fourth scenario because it was viewed as beyond the five-year economic projection of the study. There are also two diverging differences that make a comparison difficult: Japanese consumers sharply increased their saving rate, and U.S. health care costs are a greater fiscal risk that wasn’t apparent in Japan in the early Nineties.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast