New York – U.S. consumers are positioned to spend more in the coming months based on several favorable economic indicators seen in June. The Deloitte Consumer Spending Index for June 2013, which comprises four components of tax burden, initial unemployment claims, real wages and real home prices, increased to 4.3 from a reading of 4.2 the previous month. Continued improvement in real home prices and initial unemployment claims drove Index performance.
Following is a summary of the four main components of the Index:
Tax Burden: The tax rate is up from last year, and is now at 12%.
Initial Unemployment Claims: Claims moved down nearly 7% from May 2012 to 348,000 in May 2013.
Real Wages: Hourly real wages remained relatively flat at $8.81.
Real New Home Prices: Real new home prices climbed 9.2% from this time last year to reach $113,833.
Alison Paul, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP and retail & distribution sector leader, cautioned retailers that despite improving economic conditions and spending patterns, consumers still expect to get a good deal when making a retail purchase.
“A cooler-than-usual spring left some retailers to rely on markdowns to make room for back-to-school items,” said Paul. “Retailers can use attractive offers, one-of-a kind events for children and teens, and promotions to help encourage parents to shop their brands this back-to-school season. Moreover, retailers should link their marketing messages across their store, mobile, and social channels to get consumers in the door in July and keep the momentum going through the summer.”