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Retail Diamond Sales In Current Conditions

2003: Retail Diamond Sales And Consumer’s Assessment

Summer 2003

The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index, declined in July. The Index now stands at 76.6 (1985=100), down from 83.5 in June. The Expectations Index fell to 86.4 from 96.4. The Present Situation Index also declined—to 61.9 from 64.2.

Consumers' assessment of current conditions was less favorable than last month. Those rating present business conditions as "bad" increased to 30.4% from 28.1%. Consumers claiming jobs are “hard to get” rose to 33.1% from 31.9%. Consumers’ expectations for the next six months were also less optimistic than last month.

The retail industry, in contrast, continues to show signs of improvement as current business conditions strengthened in July, while the six-month-ahead sales outlook improved even more.Retail sales increased1.4% the largest increase in 4 months.According to the latest Executive Opinion Survey, an index by the National Retail Federation and the Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi, the Retail Sector Performance Index for July rose to 55.4 percent, its highest since the survey’s inception in September 2002.

Retail sales in July, meanwhile, rose an estimated 5%, according to ShopperTrak's National Retail Sales Estimate, a weekly tracking of retail sales nationwide. The continued strong performance of the U.S. retail sector painted a picture of the beginnings of an industry-wide economic recovery. Over the first 29 weeks of 2003, the average year-over-year NRSE sales increase was 2.5%. 


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