Monday, December 24, 2007
It nevertheless beggars the imagination how we are managing to have positive consumer spending when real disposable personal income has been down in both October and November. Maybe it's credit cards, as Michael Mandel notes more than 4% of credit card balances are at least 30 days delinquent. The question I think will turn on how aggressive price-cutting cited in many places this season ends up helping or hurting sales and the bottom line.
And there's still this sub-prime thing out there... Here's a couple facts from the local market that someone provided to me last week. Volume of sales in local real estate in the St. Cloud area is down 16.6% through November. Inventory of listings to sales is now over 24 months compared to 20 in November 2006.
If consumers are leading us through this soft patch, my question is ... with what?