The consumer is in trouble. Soaring food and fuel prices are eroding disposable incomes and lockdown-era savings that could have been spent on travel and shopping, are dwindling fast.
Economists predict COVID curbs will have driven a 6% slump in China’s April retail sales, almost double March falls. U.S. April retail sales are tipped to rise, but as in March, gasoline and food may account for most of the increase. read more
British consumer confidence slumped in March to near the lowest in nearly half a century, research firm GfK said. A cost-of-living squeeze likely deepened shoppers’ gloom in April. read more
No surprise global consumer discretionary shares have tumbled almost a third this year, exceeding a broader equity index fall. Investors have taken note; several say they are no longer banking on the consumer.