By  on February 24, 2010

Retailers are feeling the benefits of a slowly improving economy, but the effects aren’t yet filtering down to their customers.

Consumers’ misgivings about jobs and the overall economic environment sent The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index down sharply this month even as three major retailers Tuesday reported results that were substantially better than those registered during the dismal final quarter of 2008. The disconnect between the earnings and confidence data dramatizes that, despite hints of optimism among stores and their suppliers, the nascent economic recovery continues to be hobbled by consumers who don’t yet feel upbeat enough to createsustained top-line growth.

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