For the first time since late April the decline in our Daily Growth Index has stalled and even rebounded very slightly to a -6.71% year-over-year contraction (after bottoming at a -6.76% on May 16, 2011). This constitutes a break in the relentless decline of online consumer durables purchases. However, the best to say at this point is that consumers are bouncing along in a state of ongoing gloom.
The persistence of the decline in discretionary spending online for consumer durable goods suggests that consumers have come to terms with the need for a longer term frugality — perhaps not wishing to repeat the premature “green shoots” optimism of early 2009.
Shopping center sales and consumer credit numbers are reported to be rising. Careful examination indicates they are both falling in most categories. Only direct student loans are increasing. CMI also finds that the Daily Growth Index which tracks online durable goods sales has fallen back to a six-month low.
The automotive sector has been a stalwart of the U.S. economy for the last nine months – except for the past few weeks.
Consumer durable purchases monitored by CMI (Consumer Metrics Institute) have been in decline since late January. The effect of Japan is probably temporary.