Driving the Day: 11/28/12

Nov 28, 2012

Need to know…

  • Cyber Monday Revenue Up 30%. Online sales continue to grow during the holiday shopping season, as the Wall Street Journal reports Cyber Monday revenue rose 30% this year. This is slightly less than the 33% revenue growth from 2010 to 2011. The percent of purchases made over mobile devices (like tablets and smartphones) rose 190%, according to the e-commerce and online payment business PayPal. Social media's impact on sales was less significant, according to IBM findings, which found that shopping on social media sites had decreased by 26%, generating just 0.41% of sales.
  • U.S. Consumer Spending Down from 2011. Self-reported U.S. consumer spending averaged $67 a day for the week ending November 25, according to Gallup. This is down from $83 per day in 2011, $79 in 2010, and $69 in 2009. While lower spending had an impact on Black Friday sales, Gallup found average consumer spending during the week before Thanksgiving was $74, up from $64 in 2011. This could partly account for the lower average spending seen at the start of the holiday shopping season.
  • China Not Labeled Currency Manipulator. In a semi-annual report on global exchange rates, the U.S. Treasury said China did not meet the legal criteria to be labeled a currency manipulator. The Treasury said China's currency is "significantly undervalued," with the Chinese yuan rising 12.6% against the (inflation-adjusted) dollar since June 2010. However, the "substantial" reduction of Chinese intervention in foreign exchange markets, in addition to loosening capital controls, helped the country avoid the largely symbolic manipulator title, which would have disrupted diplomatic relations with the United States.
  • Democrats Draw Tougher Line on Entitlements. POLITICO reports, “Congressional Democrats are starting to draw a much tougher line on entitlements in the increasingly messy fiscal cliff talks, warning Republicans to keep their hands off Social Security and Medicare benefits. And for them to even entertain any changes to Medicare and Medicaid, they say the price is for Republicans to agree to far higher taxes than they have flirted with so far.”

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