For consumer businesses, waiting to seek clarity could be a losing play. ￼
Record-breaking post-Holiday sales masked a marked slowdown in overall retail spending. Despite Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales surpassing $20 billion for the first time in history, U.S. retail spending experienced its most significant decline of the year, suggesting households are making strategic financial decisions as they plan for the road ahead. The economy remains at an unprecedented crossroads, with many questions looming:
Will inflation continue to slow, and how much further could interest rates rise? The Fed continues to raise rates at a slightly slower pace and has signaled its intention to continue doing so at least through the spring.
Will a slightly slowing economy morph into a full-blown recession, and will the labor market remain strong? While sales and margins show signs of softening, the labor market continues to defy expectations, making it hard for the Federal Reserve to further ease the policy. Layoffs in the technology, media and real estate industries make headlines. Still, they represent a minuscule portion of the labor force, with overall jobless claims falling by 20,000.
How much longer will pandemic-era savings and easing supply chains buttress consumer spending, and will they continue to spend more on necessities? While personal savings soared to nearly $6.5 trillion in 2020, they’ve since dropped to below $500 billion, lower than the $1.4 trillion pre-pandemic. Despite supply chain imbalances driving discount sales as retailers looked to shed excess inventory, consumers are focusing their budgets on food and other staples and spending less on holiday categories such as electronics, clothing, and sporting goods.
Ultimately, is a recession inevitable, and how bad might it get? This remains anyone’s prediction, but for business owners, management teams, and industry leaders, any level of uncertainty should be met head-on – waiting to seek clarity can be a losing move.
Connect with G2 to discuss your 2023 strategic objectives. At G2 Capital Advisors, deep sector and operational expertise underscore our dedication to achieving success at all costs. We support clients through both healthy market cycles and times of distress, with a refusal to fail. We provide highly tailored advice to company-specific circumstances in an ever-changing world. Reach out today to start the conversation.