Consumer spending and consumption stats have begun to dazzle this market and the fact that they’re going up against the weakest comps imaginable seems to have been completely disregarded.
Retailers themselves are more positive in their announcements than they’ve been in years. Can they all be lying?
The narrative goes something like this:
1. The teenagers are back at the mall and buying stuff again.
2. The iPad initial sales figures demonstrate that there is and will always be a desire to buy things that people don’t really need, even with 10% unemployment.
3. Purchases that have been put off for 6 months are now happening, pent-up consumers can’t hold back any longer.
4. The bottoming in home prices for certain regions and the reappearance of bidding wars in some rare instances have eased the consternation of the neighbors.
5. The stock market’s once-in-a-lifetime resurgence is easing the purse strings for breadwinners and 401k particpants.
6. There is a fear that the sales and deals we’ve grown accustomed to in the mall may be evaporating and the time to grab that second k-cup coffee machine is now.
7. We are pigs.
Anyway, I’m going to do the unthinkable – ask my wife if we can (shudder) go to the mall this weekend. I need a little touchie-feelie confirmation a la Peter Lynch.