Trade Resources Economy U.S. Presidential Election, Consumer Confidence, Consumer Market Research.

U.S. Presidential Election, Consumer Confidence, Consumer Market Research.

Greetings from London—I'm stopping here for a brief brake after spending an interesting two days in Switzerland at the Montblanc watch manufacturing facilities. 

As I mentioned a few weeks ago this is the season when the Christmas retail surveys come out. One of the most watched surveys produced by the National Retail Federation's holiday forecast was recently released and it is showing that holiday sales this year will increase 4.1 percent to $586.1 billion, higher than the annual survey's 10-year average of 3.5 percent. 

If the predictions come true it will add momentum to last year's sales, which grew 5.6 percent. 

"This is the most optimistic forecast NRF has released since the recession," said Matthew Shay, president and CEO of the retail trade association. "In spite of the uncertainties that exist in our economy and among consumers, we believe we'll see solid holiday sales growth this year.", a division of NRF that represents online and multi-channel retailers, released its first online holiday sales prediction. The organization said it expects online sales to grow 12 percent, year-over-year, to $96 billion. 

"Online retail has been a bright spot for years and we don't expect that trend to change anytime soon, especially with the growth in mobile," Shay said. 

These surveys are just more indications that consumers are feeling better about the U.S. economy. Housing prices are starting to rise again and consumer confidence surveys are showing positive signs. The reasons why people are feeling more positive are not clear to me. But economic data since the recession has been unclear.

Among affluent consumers, the picture isn't quite as rosy, according to the American Affluence Research Center. Those with an income of $285,000 a year and a net worth of $3.1 million will increase their purchases by 2 to 3 percent, year-over-year, this holiday season, according to the market research firm.

"This could be a conservative estimate, depending on how the stock market and businesses respond to the 2012 elections and the actions of Congress during the lame-duck session between November and the end of the year," said Ron Kurtz, president and founder of AARC. 

Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing, another affluent market research firm, said recently that affluent consumers would feel better about the holidays and spend more if Mitt Romney defeated Barack Obama.

I say it's impossible to predict consumer spending patterns based on the emotional impact of a presidential election. There will be no policy made or laws written before now and December based on the outcome of the election that would affect spending. Market researcher who says they can predict how the economy will perform based on the immediate results of an election either has a vested interest in the outcome or are just irresponsible. 

U.S. presidential election, consumer confidence, consumer market research.

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Consumer Confidence, The Economy and The Upcoming Presidential Election