Guitar-Economics – January 2015

Economic indicators in the U.S. defied the gravity of trends off shore at the close of the year. Guitar and Guitar Products Suppliers may see a boost in U.S. sales stemming from higher consumer confidence, falling gas prices, and lower unemployment rates. However, suppliers should expect lower sales abroad as the price of the U.S. dollar increases against currencies such as the Euro and Ruble.

Jobs increased especially for younger Americans – The US Bureau of Labor Statics reported that unemployment rate fell to 5.6%. Unemployment for Americans ages 16 – 19 – a prime age for guitar products buyers – fell to 16.8%, down from 20.4% one year earlier.

The U.S. Economy surged more than expected – The Bureau of Economic Analysis reported that the 3rd Quarter U.S. Real GDP was revised upward to 5.0%. The Conference Board reported that consumers had a stronger view of the economic environment at the close of 2014. Strong jobs reports and falling gas prices gave the confidence index a boost. Additionally, hobby, sporting goods, and music retailers did more hiring.

Exports may fall as the dollar gains – The end of the year was not so rosy elsewhere. Bloomberg reported that the Euro fell against the dollar amid new concerns over a “Grexit” and Russia’s ruble continued to tumble largely because of falling gas prices. Essentially, purchasing U.S. guitars overseas is getting more expensive.

Consumer Credit increased, but mostly non-revolving credit – The Federal Reserve Board reported that U.S. consumer credit outstanding rose increased to $3.298 trillion. Much of the gain was attributable to non-revolving credit such as student and auto loans.

New factory orders and shipments were soft soft in November – The Census Bureau reported that new factory orders were down 0.7 percent from October.

U.S. Trade Deficit fell on oil – The Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Census Bureau reported that the U.S. trade deficit fell to its lowest level of 2014, to $39.00 billion in November. However, the numbers showed that the decrease was not the result of increased exports, but slowing imports – in particular, petroleum.

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