NRF/Hackett Associates report: Retail imports should continue to increase throughout spring and summer as economy improves

WASHINGTON, 2017-Apr-12 — /EPR Retail News/ — Imports at the nation’s major retail container ports should continue to see strong increases throughout the spring and summer as the nation’s economy improves, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

“Consumers are spending more, and these import numbers show that retailers expect that to continue for a significant period,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “This is a clear sign that the economy has long-term momentum regardless of month-to-month fluctuations. Whether it’s merchandise for store shelves or parts for U.S. factories, imports play a vital role in American prosperity.”

“Our view that imports will continue to be stable despite the uncertainties of the new administration’s trade policies remains unchanged,” Hackett Associates Founder Ben Hackett said. “Despite pre-election promises, there has been little real change in trade policy so far and little change is expected for the greater part of the year.”

Ports covered by Global Port Tracker handled 1.43 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units in February, the latest month for which after-the-fact numbers are available. That was a decrease of 14.3 percent from January as many Asian factories shut down for Lunar New Year, and down 7 percent from the same month a year ago. Coming after the winter holidays and before retailers stock up for summer, February is historically the slowest month of the year for imports. One TEU is one 20-foot-long cargo container or its equivalent.

March was estimated at 1.61 million TEU, up 21.5 percent from unusually low numbers last year, when Lunar New Year came a week later than this year. April is forecast at 1.59 million TEU, up 10.3 percent from last year; May at 1.68 million TEU, up 3.5 percent; June at 1.66 million TEU, up 5.3 percent; July at 1.71 million TEU, up 5.1 percent, and August at 1.74 million TEU, up 1.6 percent.

The first half of 2017 is expected to total 9.6 million TEU, up 7.3 percent from the first half of 2016. Cargo volume for 2016 totaled 18.8 million TEU, up 3.1 percent from 2015, which had grown 5.4 percent from 2014.

NRF has forecast that 2017 retail sales – excluding automobiles, gasoline and restaurants – will increase between 3.7 and 4.2 percent over 2016, driven by job and income growth coupled with low debt. Cargo volume does not correlate directly with sales because only the number of containers is counted, not the value of the cargo inside, but nonetheless provides a barometer of retailers’ expectations.

Global Port Tracker, which is produced for NRF by the consulting firm Hackett Associates, covers the U.S. ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach, Oakland, Seattle and Tacoma on the West Coast; New York/New Jersey, Hampton Roads, Charleston, Savannah, Port Everglades and Miami on the East Coast, and Houston on the Gulf Coast. The report is free to NRF retail members, and subscription information is available at www.nrf.com/PortTracker or by calling (202) 783-7971. Subscription information for non-members can be found at www.globalporttracker.com.

NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF.com

Hackett Associates provides expert consulting, research and advisory services to the international maritime industry, government agencies and international institutions. www.hackettassociates.com

Contact:

J. Craig Shearman
(202) 626-8134
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Pres

Source: NRF

NACS survey: Americans are optimistic about the economy as gas prices fall

​ALEXANDRIA, Va., 2017-Feb-15 — /EPR Retail News/ — A majority of Americans (57%) are optimistic about the economy as gas prices fell by 5 cents per gallon over the past month, according to the latest National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) Consumer Fuels Survey of U.S. adults who purchase fuel for a vehicle at least once per month.

Overall, 57% of consumers are optimistic about the economy, which is 13 percentage points higher than last February, when 44% were optimistic. More than three-quarters (76%) of all consumers say that gas prices, which fell from $2.30 to $2.25 over the past 30 days, play a role in their feelings about the economy.

Consumers in the South were most optimistic (60%), while those in the Northeast were least optimistic (54%). Only one in three Americans overall (38%) say that gas prices rose over the past 30 days, though a majority of consumers in the Northeast (53%) say that gas prices rose in the past 30 days. By contrast, only 28% of consumers in the Midwest say gas prices rose in the past 30 days.

Looking to the future, more than two in five fuel consumers (46%) say that they expect gas prices to increase over the next 30 days. This is a noticeable increase from the 35% who predicted higher pump prices at the same time one year ago.

One in five Americans (18%) say that they will spend more money shopping over the coming 30 days. Younger consumers, those ages 18-34, are most likely (28%) to increase their spending.

“The strong consumer optimism over the past few months will be challenged by the fuels industry’s spring transition to summer-blend fuels, which puts pressure on the distribution system and gas prices. As the cold winter weather slowly warms and spring draws closer, convenience retailers are hopeful that consumer optimism remains high and drivers continue to hit the roads — and visit their stores to refuel on drinks, snacks and meals,” said Jeff Lenard, NACS vice president of strategic industry initiatives.

The survey was conducted online by Penn Schoen Berland; 1,110 U.S. adults who purchase fuel for a vehicle such as a car, truck or van at least once per month were surveyed February 7-10, 2017. Summary results are available at nacsonline.com/fuelssurvey.

Founded in 1961 as the National Association of Convenience Stores, NACS (nacsonline.com) is the international association for convenience and fuel retailing. The U.S. convenience store industry, with more than 154,000 stores across the country, conducts 160 million transactions a day, sells 80% of the fuel purchased in the country and had total sales of $575 billion in 2015. NACS has 2,100 retail and 1,700 supplier member companies, which do business in nearly 50 countries.

Source: NACS

NACS survey: Only 44% of Americans are optimistic about the economy, down 3 points from last month

ALEXANDRIA, Va, 2016-Aug-12 — /EPR Retail News/ — Despite declining prices at the pump and a prevailing expectation that lower prices will continue, a majority of U.S. fuel consumers remain pessimistic about the overall state of the American economy, according to the latest national consumer survey released by the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS).

Only 44% of Americans say they are “very optimistic” or “somewhat optimistic” about the economy, down 3 points from last month. Economic optimism is also down compared to this time last year, when nearly half (49%) reported feeling optimistic about the state of the economy.
Consumers in the Northeast are least optimistic (37%) and consumers ages 18-34 are most optimistic (51%).

U.S. fuel consumers report a median gas price of $2.10 per gallon, a 16-cent drop from July, and a total decline of 28 cents since June 2016’s summer high of $2.38.

As gas prices continue to drop, more drivers are noticing the trend. Nearly two in five (42%) fuel consumers say gas prices have declined in their area over the past 30 days, compared to 31% who said so in July when gas prices began to fall nationally.

Americans have noticed this trend in declining prices, and a majority expect low prices to continue. When asked whether they think gas prices 30 days from now will be higher or lower, nearly three in five (59%) say they expect prices next month to be the same or lower.

As has been the case throughout 2016, gas prices remain significantly lower than they have been in recent years. This month’s median gas price of $2.10 is 54 cents lower than August 2015’s median gas price of $2.64 and $1.40 per gallon lower than August 2014’s median price of $3.50.

It may be that, as gas prices drop, economic optimism becomes less dependent on the price of gas. Just one in five (22%) of U.S fuel consumers say that gas prices have a “great impact” on their feelings on the economy. This ties last month (July 2016) for the lowest number since NACS began its monthly consumer surveys in January 2013.

Consumers say their vehicle’s average fuel efficiency is 24.5 miles per gallon and average miles per dollar—a calculation that examines gas prices related to vehicle fuel efficiency—rose to 11.7 miles per dollar, the highest level since April.

“Consumer optimism has decoupled from gas price changes for only the second time in three years—and in both cases the news was dominated by politics. It’s likely that the recent political conventions pushed down optimism and the rancor of the campaigns is taking its toll on consumer optimism,” said Jeff Lenard, NACS vice president of strategic industry initiatives.

NACS, which represents the convenience store industry that sells 80% of the gas in the United States, conducts monthly consumer surveys to gauge how gas prices affect broader economic trends. The survey was conducted online by Penn Schoen Berland; 1,149 U.S. adults who purchase fuel for a vehicle such as a car, truck or van at least once per month were surveyed August 2-5, 2016. Summary results are available at nacsonline.com/fuelssurvey.

Founded in 1961 as the National Association of Convenience Stores, NACS (nacsonline.com) is the international association for convenience and fuel retailing. The U.S. convenience store industry, with more than 154,000 stores across the country, conducts 160 million transactions a day, sells 80% of the fuel purchased in the country and had total sales of $575 billion in 2015. NACS has 2,100 retail and 1,700 supplier member companies, which do business in nearly 50 countries.

Contact:

(703) 684-3600 (phone)
(703) 836-4564 (fax)

Source: NACS

NACS survey reveals 85% of consumers say that gas prices affect their feelings about the economy

ALEXANDRIA, VA, 2015-5-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — Nearly nine in 10 consumers (85%) say that gas prices affect their feelings about the economy, according to survey results released by the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS).  Gas prices have risen roughly 50 cents per gallon since February.

One in 10 consumers (10%) say that they will drive less over the next 30 days, a time when driving traditionally increases with the unofficial start of the summer drive season.

On average, consumers say they would reduce how much they drive if gas prices rise another $1.02, to $3.61 per gallon.  The $1.02 gap between current prices and the price at which consumers would change their behavior is the lowest recorded this year.

Consumers say that they have noticed rising gas prices. Seven in ten (70%) say gas prices today are higher than they were 30 days ago, which is nearly double the proportion that said so last month (38%). Similarly, seven in ten (72%) consumers expect gas prices to continue to rise over the next 30 days, a significant change compared to April (49%).

Nationwide, economic optimism fell from 52% to 48%. Gas prices had an even bigger impact on optimism in western states such as California where gas prices are averaging up to $1 per gallon more than the national average. Optimism in the West fell from 58% to 47% over the past month and trailed national optimism for the first time since August 2014. And consumers in the West do not expect the situation to get better soon: Nearly four in five (79%) consumers there expect prices to increase this month.

The best indicator of consumer optimism is miles per dollar, which measures consumers’ self-reported fuel efficiency and gas prices. Miles per dollar fell 10% to 8.83, the lowest level in 2015. Miles per dollar has tracked consumer optimism for six of the past seven months.

“While optimism over the economy declined, it is still significantly higher than this time last year when it was only 41%. And because the spring switchover to summer-blend fuel is nearly complete, many analysts suggest that prices will soon moderate,” said Jeff Lenard, NACS vice president of strategic industry initiatives. “Fuels retailers are certainly optimistic: 86% of our members say that they are optimistic about their business in the second quarter.

NACS, which represents the convenience store industry that sells 80% of the gas sold in the country, conducts the monthly consumer sentiment survey to gauge how gas prices affect broader economic trends. The NACS survey was conducted by Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates LLC; 1,105 gas consumers were surveyed May 5-7, 2015. Summary results are available at www.nacsonline.com/gasprices.

NACS survey reveals 85 of consumers say that gas prices affect their feelings about the economy

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Founded in 1961 as the National Association of Convenience Stores, NACS (nacsonline.com) is the international association for convenience and fuel retailing. The U.S. convenience store industry, with more than 151,000 stores across the country, posted $696 billion in total sales in 2013, of which $491 billion were motor fuels sales. NACS has 2,100 retail and 1,600 supplier member companies, which do business in nearly 50 countries.

The UK Economy Lose Millions As Sales Of Fake World Cup Merchandise Are Rife

Just under a quarter of UK consumers have revealed they would purchase counterfeit World Cup and football related products to save money, a new survey has revealed.

The UK Economy Lose Millions As Sales Of Fake World Cup Merchandise Are Rife

Shopping search engine, Kelkoo, conducted the research and revealed that with product imitations in South Africa rampant, around 1 in 5 products are likely to be forgeries, costing official, legitimate businesses around £50m.

The most popular and widespread fakes are believed to be of replica kits, particularly of England and Brazil.

The news comes as the UK Border Agency announced its most-recent seizure of counterfeits were of a thousand replica England shirts – primed for the lucrative World Cup market.

Matt Spencer, founder of UK-based personal finance blog Moneystand.co.uk, has explained the situation: “With the World Cup looming it is enormous opportunity for retailers and sporting goods manufacturers to amplify the sales of the official merchandise. The worry is that fakes are becoming increasingly difficult to spot and in some cases, the price may be identical to that of genuine products.

“Those who knowingly purchase counterfeited items for the reason that they are cheaper are likely to find the situation a false economy. Product quality and durability are more often than not compromised. In many situations people are paying full price for these short- term items.”

The practice of buying fake goods is not a victimless crime either, as Spencer continues; “Theres a very strong chance, almost a certainty, imitated items have not been through the same vigorous safety tests that genuine items face. Potentially, these un-tested products could be lethal.”

Personal finance blog MoneyStand provides unbiased personal finance, IVA and debt related information. Founded in 2008, MoneyStand was created in response to the worsening financial situation of individuals in the UK and across the world. For more information on personal finance, visit www.moneystand.co.uk.

Via EPR Network
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