LB - Yavapai Herbal Services

Home | Classifieds | Place Ad | Public Notices | Galleries | Kudos | Obits | Real Estate | Subscriber Services | Villager | Health Directory | Contact Us
The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : latest news : latest news May 26, 2016

12/6/2012 2:16:00 PM
AZ consumers still wary of spending

Howard Fischer
Capitol Media Services

PHOENIX -- A new report Tuesday by state tax officials shows that Arizona consumers appear to be holding back on the pace of their spending.

Figures from the Department of Revenue show total retail sales for September, the most recent numbers available, totaled slightly more than $3.9 billion. That's an increase of just 2.5 percent from the same month a year earlier.

"These numbers are pretty lackluster,' said economist Marshall Vest of the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona. He said that sales should be growing in the range of 4 to 5 percent.

Economist Dennis Hoffman of the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, was equally unimpressed by the performance. He called the year-over-year increase "anemic.'

Of greater concern, Hoffman said, is that the September numbers are in line with the pattern he's seen for the past few months after signs of more rapid growth earlier in the year.

That, he said, raises the question of whether an annual growth rate of 2 to 3 percent is "the new world' that Arizona will have to live with.

"Or is it maybe a summer doldrums or election related hesitation in consumer spending?' Hoffman continued. "That's what we're going to have to determine.'

Vest said that it's not just consumer retail purchasing that appears off. He pointed out that contracting revenues are down after what had been record growth in the past several months.

But Vest also found some bright spots, especially in sales at bars and restaurants. He said spending there "has been surprisingly robust the past few months.'

Hoffman also noted that sales of cars and trucks are up more than 13 percent over the same time last year. But he said that is not the complete picture.

"The amount of sales today is still lower than it was in 2004,' he said.

The September vehicle sales amounted to $530.8 million. But dealers were moving nearly $740 million worth of cars and trucks eight years ago, even when prices were lower.

"And there's more people here than in 2004,' Hoffman said. "And the economy is bigger.'

He said, though, the increasing pace of vehicle sales could be a good barometer of consumer confidence.

"If people are not feeling good, they don't buy a car,' Hoffman said. "They try to get by with a clunker.'

Both economists caution that the September numbers do not necessarily mean the recovery is stalling in Arizona.

"These data are volatile from month to month, so next month could look at lot stronger,' Vest said.

Hoffman said there are some early indications that will be the case. He said preliminary numbers from the Department of Revenue show cash flow from sales taxes for October are higher, in the 7 percent range. But Hoffman said it will take the agency awhile to figure out what segments of the economy are contributing to that.

ICT - Lamb Auto 0501 Nissan 180x150

    Most Viewed     Recently Commented
•   Police soon will have one more reason to pull you over (4750 views)

•   What's hot in Verde Valley job market? (2956 views)

•   Cornville man charged with child molestation seeks plea (2875 views)

•   Marana man suffers skull injury, brain bleed following ATV crash (2737 views)

•   Motorcycle rider suffers head injuries in crash (2195 views)

Article Comment Submission Form
Comments are not posted immediately. Submissions must adhere to our Use of Service Terms of Use agreement. Rambling or nonsensical comments may not be posted. Comments are limited to Facebook character limits. In order for us to reasonably manage this feature we may limit excessive comment entries.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Last Name:
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.

Advanced Search

HSE - We want to hear from you
HSE - Father Son Look a Like Contest
HSE - Readers Choice 300x100
Find more about Weather in Cottonwood, AZ
Click for weather forecast

Submission Links
 •  Submit your feedback about our site

Find It Features Blogs Celebrate Submit Extras Other Publications Local Listings
Classifieds | Place Ad | Galleries | Kudos | Real Estate | Subscriber Services | e-News | RSS | Site Map | Find Verde Jobs | Contact Us
LB - Lamb Auto 0501 Nissan 728x90

© Copyright 2016 Western News&Info, Inc.® The Verde Independent is the information source for Cottonwood and Verde Valley area communities in Northern Arizona. Original content may not be reprinted or distributed without the written permission of Western News&Info, Inc.® Verde News Online is a service of WNI. By using the Site, ®, you agree to abide and be bound by the Site's terms of use and Privacy Policy, which prohibit commercial use of any information on the Site. Click here to submit your questions, comments or suggestions. Verde News Online is a proud publication of Western News&Info Inc.® All Rights Reserved.

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved