Expect Strongest Holiday Sales Since '07: Hampel

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Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Bill Hampel, chief economist at the Credit Union National Association, discusses what the November retail sales say about the state of the U.S. consumer. He speaks with Mark Crumpton on Bloomberg Television's "Bottom Line." (Source: Bloomberg)

Mixed messages this year about the state of the u.s. consumer.

What did today's retail numbers tell us?

The good news is that they are twice what expectations were for november.

I think given what we know about consumers, it is a good signal that we will start out not only with a decent holiday season, but strong consumer spending going into 2014. a few weeks ago, the credit union national association released their 14th annual holiday spending survey.

The forecast is for a in overall holiday spending increased by consumers of 3.5%-four percent over a year ago.

Have you seen anything since the survey was released that would alter that forecast?

I have not.

This morning's retail numbers suggest that we may be on the high end of that.

The survey we did, these are the strongest results we have had since 2000 x. -- 2006. i have not seen anything since then.

There has been a change in the mix of spending, a little bit less going on at brick-and- mortar stores and a little more online.

Spending seems quite strong, at least 4.0%. quite a few mention the traditional brick-and-mortar stores.

They have not been very well during this holiday shopping season, but online and catalog sales are on the rise.

How worried should the brick- and-mortar speed and what might this -- brick-and-mortar stores be and what might this mean for mall construction?

I do not know of one holiday season have that much change.

They should be concerned about the long-term effects.

We are in the middle of a long- term shift in the way that business is done.

It is further evidence that they will have to make adjustments.

What type of adjustments?

They will have to plan to have less volume going through their stores.

They will have to learn techniques in order to be able to bring people into their stores and by the spite the fact that goods are readily available online.

It is a big game changer.

I am to being -- speaking with the chief economist at the credit union national association.

There are 100 ready union -- 100 million credit union members in the united states.

How important is the pent-up consumer demand?

Consumer loan demand -- we are having the strongest year this year since 2005. that is way before the recession.

It is largely fueled by new car purchases.

The pent-up demand is pretty strong.

During the recession, an awful lot of people lost their jobs.

And even -- an even larger portion of the population was concerned that they were next.

People who kept their jobs cut back on their spending substantially.

As an example of the automobile sector, 19 million in car sales did not happen in the last few years through the end of 2012. they would have happened had there not been a recession.

It will not all happen right away.

But that of a strong tail behind car sales.

The same need -- the same thing happens for lots of other consumer organizations.

We think consumers now are -- since the government in washington seems to be getting back together in terms of budget and he said -- shut down, that is not going to be a source of discontinuity for the consumer anymore.

You think the consumer might spend more.

You mentioned what is going on in washington.

I don't know if there's trepidation in your voice, but we are sure that your fingers are crossed.

Consumers who are spending, the search is being led by a wealthier households -- the search is being led by wealthier households.

What about other americans and their discretionary income?

It has been flat.

Therefore, what we think may turn a little bit in the first half of next year is the job market.

We are on track to get 200,000 jobs a month going forward or more into the first part of 2014. emily believe i may 2014, we will get levels of employment to back to where they were before the recession.

That will boost disposable income of lower income consumers.

It will not be fantastic, but it is moving in the right direction.

A lot of third-quarter growth was the result of inventory restocking.

Are you seeing continued evidence of that this quarter?

I do not think we will see more inventory.

It means that the fourth quarter, despite this surge in spending, gdp probably will not be a strong in the third quarter.

We will get rid of these excess inventories with strong spending here in the fourth quarter.

It puts us in good shape moving into 2014. ask how old is holiday shopping season pan out?

What are your expectations?

I think we will have a 3.5- 4.0% growth.

We have a slightly shortened season.

There was some concern early on that we would not have a good easy.

-- season.

This will be the strong as we have had since 2007. since then, we have had some pretty weak years.

We're are back to normal just about.

The chief economist at the credit union national

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.


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