The holiday shopping season is off to a slower start this year, indicating a return to normalcy in the economy. While the pandemic has had an impact on the timing of holiday shopping, with U.S. retail sales falling for the first time since March, it appears that this trend may be coming to an end.
In recent years, holiday shopping would have started as early as September, but this year it seems that consumers are taking a more traditional approach. Senior Economist Robert Spendlove believes that this shift in timing is reflective of the economy still being affected by the pandemic. He draws a comparison between the pandemic and a rock being thrown into a lake, with the ripple effects of its impact still being felt even after months.
Overall, while improvements are being observed in employment data, inflation, and retail spending, it seems that we are not yet on track for a true soft landing. However, with more traditional holiday shopping trends returning to their normal timeline, it is predicted that spending will pick up after Thanksgiving. This could signal a step closer to economic normalcy.