Foodservice Equipment Reports

Consumer Confidence Rebounds, Wholesale Food Prices Sag, And Other News Of Note

Among other economic news of significance to foodservice and foodservice equipment and supplies:

  • Both major indexes of consumer confidence and expectations recovered sharply in December from the declines prompted by the federal-government shutdown and debt-ceiling fight. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index jumped nearly 10% in the final December reading, rising to 82.5 from 75.1 in November. The group’s Expectations Index rose nearly 8%. The Sentiment Index stands 13.2% higher than December 2012. The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index rose to 78.1 in December from 72 in November.

  • Wholesale food prices fell again in November, down 0.1% per the National Restaurant Association’s estimate of the three stages of wholesale food and feedstuff data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Prices stand just 0.6% above a year ago, the slowest rate of inflation of wholesale food prices in nearly two years.

  • Menu prices rose 0.3% in November, the strongest gain in a year, according to data from the BLS’s Consumer Price Index. Grocery-store prices were flat for the month. Menu prices are 2.1% higher than a year ago, while grocery-store prices are only 0.6% higher.

  • Among the interesting data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis’s third estimate of U.S. gross domestic product is the second consecutive quarter of increases in consumption and investment spending by state and local governments. Such spending has been consistently negative since the beginning of the Great Recession.   

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