Deloitte: Consumer spending slips for first time in five months
NEW YORK — The Deloitte Consumer Spending Index decreased slightly in July, marking the first decline since February 2012.
The index tracks consumer cash flow as an indicator of future consumer spending.
“The Index slipped primarily due to a drop in real new home prices and a slight rise in jobless claims that offset improvements in real wages,” said Carl Steidtmann, Deloitte’s chief economist and author of the monthly Index. “Consumers enjoyed lower energy costs during the first half of the summer, but a rapidly increasing savings rate suggests they have put some recouped funds away for a rainy day rather than spending it. However, gas prices have started to tick back up. If confidence remains under pressure due to stagnant job growth, a stumbling housing market and Europe’s financial crisis, consumer spending may begin to contract heading into autumn.”
Other factors impacting the decline, Deloitte said, included rising interest income and savings rate and lower gas prices since April.
“Consumers responded favorably to markdowns and promotions in July, and we anticipate retailers will finish the summer strong as families restock before sending their children off to school,” said Alison Paul, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP and retail and distribution sector leader. “However, that momentum may be seasonal and temporary if the Index’s decline is more than a blip on the radar.”
Wheaties honors Phelps, May-Treanor with limited-edition boxes
MINNEAPOLIS — Wheaties is saluting two Olympic gold medalists by touting them on limited-edition boxes of the cereal.
The brand officially unveiled the boxes featuring swimmer Michael Phelps and professional beach volleyball player Misty May-Treanor.
"Michael Phelps and Misty May-Treanor have inspired others to get out and achieve their own personal best," said Jim Wilson, Wheaties marketing. "Wheaties is proud to honor them and to fuel athletes everywhere."
Yoplait introduces smoothies
MINNEAPOLIS — Yoplait is expanding its portfolio with a new on-the-go item.
The brand has introduced Yoplait Smoothies, which feature frozen fruit, fruit juice and real Yoplait Greek yogurt. The smoothies can be made by adding 3/4 cup of skim milk and blending. Each 4.5-oz. freezer package yields a single 12-oz. serving, Yoplait said.
"For consumers trying to get more protein in their diets, it’s not always easy to find an on-the-go protein breakfast item or snack that tastes great," Yoplait Smoothie marketing manager Maija Aittola said. "Not only are Yoplait Smoothies made with Greek Yogurt easy to make and take, but each smoothie provides 10 grams of protein when prepared with milk and are sweetened with all-natural stevia."
Available in mixed berry and strawberry banana orange flavors, Yoplait Smoothies carry a suggested retail price of $2.99.