August sales rise 0.5%, driven by strong back-to-school spending
WASHINGTON — August retail sales — excluding automobiles, gasoline stations and restaurants — increased 0.5% seasonally adjusted month-to-month and 2.7% unadjusted year-over-year, according to the National Retail Federation. When combined with revisions to July, August sales indicate a consistent improvement in consumer confidence and spending.
"The rise in consumer confidence, labor markets and retail sales is encouraging,” NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “August sales figures signal that consumers are willing and ready to spend as the economy improves. However, until the pace of income picks up, we should not expect a sustained surge in spending."
All retail categories improved over the previous month with the exception of general merchandise stores. Even though year-over-year sales slowed from 4.2 to 2.6%, “by-and-large merchants had a strong finish to the back-to-school season, especially those selling clothing and electronics,” Kleinhenz said.
“My overall impression is that the economy is moving in the right direction but that other factors, including rising concerns over the uncertainty in the Middle East, may produce some drag,” he added. “We remain hopeful but cautious.”
Additional findings from NRF’s retail sales analysis include:
Building material & garden equipment & supplies dealers:
• +1.4% month-to-month
• +3.3% year-over-year
Clothing & clothing accessories stores:
• +0.3% month-to-month
• +1.0% year-over-year
Electronics & appliance stores:
• +0.7% month-to-month
• +0.5% year-over-year
Furniture & home furnishing stores:
• +0.7% month-to-month
• +0.7% year-over-year
General merchandise stores:
• -0.1% month-to-month
• +1.8% year-over-year
Health & personal care stores:
• +0.6% month-to-month
• +6.4% year-over-year
Nonstore (online) retailers:
• +0.1% month-to-month
• +4.2% year-over-year
Sporting goods, hobby, book & music stores:
• +0.9% month-to-month
• -4.1% year-over-year
ABI Research: 100 million wearable, remote patient-monitoring devices will ship over the next 5 years
NEW YORK — Close to 100 million wearable, remote patient-monitoring devices will ship over the next five years, according to ABI Research, boosted by growing interest and awareness about the benefits of supporting healthcare away from the hospital and into patients’ homes.
A key part of the emerging opportunity is the ability to collect data from a variety of vendor devices and sharing it securely with a range of related parties including patients, healthcare providers and payers. The last six months alone have seen consumer brand giants Apple, Google and Samsung all set out plans to provide RPM services, ABI Research noted.
RPM offers the promise of greater care and flexibility for patients while bringing efficiency and cost savings to health service providers. However, adoption has been stymied by a range of factors including device availability, device and service regulation, inertia and a high barrier to entry for new players in the space.
“Data has traditionally resided in silos belonging to specific applications delivered primarily by device vendors themselves. New cloud platforms capable of collecting data from a range of vendor devices and sharing it securely with a range of related parties including patients, healthcare providers and payers will drive adoption and bring more connected devices to market,” stated Jonathan Collins, principal analyst at ABI Research.
Consumers are playing a role in the adoption of RPM as well. Already aware of activity tracking with wearable wireless devices from players like FitBit and Jawbone, some patients are looking for the same functionality from medical devices. In the continuous glucose monitoring market, devices from Dexcom, Animas, Medtronic and others use wearable wireless technology to provide customers with connected ways to manage their condition as well as track and share details of their experience with their healthcare providers. Wireless connectivity is increasingly embedded in pulse oximeters, blood pressure cuffs, ECG monitors, and a host of emerging devices focused on specific health conditions and body parameters.
The latest ABI research report, “The Remote Patient Management Revolution: Wearable Devices and Open Management Platforms”, looks at the key devices, platforms and market drivers and inhibitors in the RPM market as well as forecasts device adoption over the next 5 years. The report is part of ABI research’s mHealth Wearables, Platforms and Services Market Research.
Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy partners to expand Hero Imagination Project to the Flint area
FLINT, Mich. — Diplomat on Wednesday announced that it is partnering with area leaders to provide the necessary funding to expand Dr. Phil Zimbardo's Hero Imagination Project to the Flint area. The HIP's licensed empowerment programs will be used as a catalyst to transform Flint from one of the most dangerous communities in the country into the nation's first "Hero Town."
HIP is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization created to broaden awareness of human social tendencies and teach effective action in challenging situations to foster pro-social behavior. Zimbardo, professor emeritus of Psychology at Stanford University, leads the effort to translate extensive research findings in social psychology and related fields into meaningful tools that can be used in everyday life to transform negative situations into positive change. Zimbardo specializes in psychological foundations of negative forms of social influence and is focused on understanding the nature of everyday heroism and the psychology of personal and social growth.
Zimbardo was the keynote speaker at last year's Hero Round Table conference in Flint, where researchers came to discuss various aspects of heroism. Diplomat was the title sponsor for the 2013 international conference and will continue to be the title sponsor for the next two years as an impetus to philanthropically transform the perception of the Flint community. One year later, leaders have purchased a license to implement Zimbardo's curriculum and conduct subsequent hero research in Flint to help drive the city's transformation. Local obstetrician and gynecologist Nita Kulkarni is among the group of community leaders who have been working with Zimbardo to secure the funding.
Kulkarni has been working with Matt Langdon and Adam Hartley, organizers of the annual Hero Round Table, to create Hero Town Flint, a non-profit that will manage the expansion of HIP's programs in Flint and oversee the implementation of hero training workshops in after-school groups and community youth organizations. The research-tested curriculum will create awareness among Flint students while introducing the most effective tools to combat negative social conformity, the bystander effect, and to empower Flint's youth to take action in their community.
Flint native Cora Keene, the executive administrator for HIP, will return to her hometown in September to train key leaders in the community, from educators to business owners, who have stepped up to make the heroism effort effective and successful. Those trained will be certified to administer the hero training workshops for students, employees and community groups exclusively in Genesee County.
"We are creating a new generation of better citizens who will be emblematic of the best Flint, Michigan has to offer," Zimbardo said.
Diplomat has donated a total of $20,000 to the Hero Foundation, a portion of which will be used to secure licensing of the HIP curriculum.
Diplomat also is the title sponsor for the Hero Round Table Conference at the Whiting on Sept. 19 to 20, and will put forth an additional $25,000 to purchase 200 tickets for community leaders and its employees.
"I believe that heroism can have a significant impact on this community," said Phil Hagerman, Diplomat CEO. "This effort is providing the latest research and tools to change the lives of individuals and the reputation of the greater Flint community."
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