Wealthier Americans Pull Back on Spending, Signaling Economic Slowdown Ahead of Black Friday

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In the lead-up to Black Friday, a crucial period for retailers, there are concerning indications that the spending boom driven by the upper middle class may be losing steam. Exclusive analysis of Bloomberg Second Measure data reveals that retailers catering to this demographic, including Apple, Coach, and Nordstrom, experienced their most significant sales drop in two years in the three months preceding the holiday season. This slowdown is particularly notable in top-performing malls in affluent areas, even as overall retail sales figures continue to rise. The excess inventory levels across various sectors, notably in the automotive industry, further contribute to the sense of economic uncertainty. On Black Friday itself, U.S. retail sales showed a modest increase of only +2.5% year-over-year, excluding automotive and not adjusted for inflation, underlining the cautious approach of wealthier consumers.

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Sources:

Is the US Headed for a Recession? Look at What Richer Americans Do on Black Friday – Bloomberg

The upper middle class powered a spending boom that kept the US out of recession, but there are increasing signs of a slowdown.

Richer Americans are curtailing their spending ahead of Black Friday, a worrisome sign for an economy that has so far depended on the US consumer to stave off a recession.

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