Holiday Spending Projections Flawed

Discussion in 'Economics' started by Smart Money, Dec 3, 2008.

  1. Maybe its just me, but after reading three different articles about how Holiday spending is going to be (bad, good, whatever), I'm just thinking it should all fall under the category of "how the hell can they tell"?

    I understand statistics, and samples, and all that. I'm feeling the pinch this holiday season myself, but because of that, I'm waiting to see how my personal finances shake out before doing any major shopping.

    Isn't that rational behavior? If things are tight, don't people tend to defer their spending until they know what their situation is? I guess I'm just a "sorry" person, but I don't even think about shopping until the last two weeks before X-mas.

    Seems like all of these "projections" are really either:

    A. Only projections of how the typical early birds will shop. And IMHO, the early birds tend to be those most cost concious anyway.

    B. Only projections which do not take into consideration that rate and manner that expenditures change as we get closer to the holidays. It neglects holiday bonuses and whatnot too.

    Geez...I know what my kids want for Christmas. They've already made their lists, drew pictures of Santa, etc. But I haven't bought much of anything. And yet I plan to indulge as much as I can. I'm sorry if the retailers believe that putting X-mas decorations up before Halloween is going to change my behavior. Not so. People monitoring the sales need to realize that too.

    I don't think the projections out right now mean squat. I think it would make more sense to correlate how the holidays will be to sales at Starbucks or some other type of discretionary spending item. Tell me how Starbucks sales compare to last year at this time and its probably a better estimate.

    I have not yet begun to shop!

    edit: For fun I looked up SBUX year over year quarterly revenues...up 3.1%. Interestingly, earnings are down like 96%. Must have taken on some costs or something...not relevant here. All this according to Yahoo's finance site. So there you go. Holiday spending will be up 3% from last year. My opinion is just as good as any of theirs.