What is Macro Pulse?

Macro Pulse highlights recent activity and events expected to affect the U.S. economy over the next 24 months. While the review is of the entire U.S. economy its particular focus is on developments affecting the Forest Products industry. Everyone with a stake in any level of the sector can benefit from
Macro Pulse's timely yet in-depth coverage.

Friday, December 16, 2011

December 2011 Macro Pulse -- Economy of Christmas Past, Present or Yet to Come?

In Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge is visited in turn by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come. The first spirit takes Scrooge to scenes of his boyhood and youth. The second takes him to the markets, where people are buying gifts and the makings of Christmas dinner. The last takes him to scenes of desolation, misery and death.

From watching news coverage of Black Friday, one could have been forgiven for concluding the Ghost of Christmas Present had enticed consumers to spend as they did before the recession. "Sales rose...to a record $11.4 billion on Black Friday,” Ed Marcheselli, chief marketing officer at ShopperTrak, told CNBC. Such stories raised expectations for a blow-out November retail sales report. The Census Bureau played the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, however, in reporting that retail sales in November (including Thanksgiving) came in at +0.2 percent, on expectations of 0.6 percent, and down from a revised 0.6 percent in October. Retail sales less autos rose 0.2 percent, half of the expected 0.4 percent, while sales without autos and gasoline also “missed big” at just +0.2 percent.

Other recent developments include…. Click here to read the entire December 2011 Macro Pulse recap.

The Macro Pulse blog is a commentary about recent economic developments affecting the forest products industry. That commentary provides context for our 24-month forecast, which is contained in the monthly Economic Outlook newsletter available through Forest2Market. The monthly Macro Pulse newsletter summarizes the previous 30 days of commentary available on this website.

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