Macro Forecasts Hold Steady, Gas Prices Rise, Consumer Sentiment Falls
Among other economic recent data pertinent to foodservice and foodservice equipment and supplies:
- Blue Chip Economic Indicators consensus forecasts, released late this month because of the delay in government data, showed little change in the key gross-domestic-product, disposable-income and consumer-spending forecasts. The forecast for real GDP growth rose 0.1 point to 1.7% in 2013 and fell 0.1 point to 2.5% for 2014. Real DPI is forecast to jump by nearly two points to 2.6% and real personal consumption expenditures by more than half a point.
- After declining for most of the fall, gasoline and diesel prices have risen the past few weeks. According to AAA, the price for a gallon of regular gas rose nearly 7 cents to $3.275 during the week ended Nov. 24. But prices are still running 4 to 5 cents below a month ago and about 15 cents less than a year ago.
- Consumer sentiment and other measures fell again in the mid-month reading by the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers. The Consumer Sentiment Index fell to 72, its lowest level since December 2011. The Expectations and Current Situation Indexes also were lower. Once again, the survey charted a dichotomy between lower-income households, which are quite worried about their economic prospects, and wealthier households, where the mood is buoyed by record stock-market prices.