Industry Insights: December 13, 2023

by Jordan DeGraw December 13, 2023

Economic Espresso: Perking Up After a Four-Month Slump

Hi friends! The holidays are in full swing, and the economy is turning a corner. Today, we’re talking about economic optimism, cooling mortgage rates, and gifts from the retail gods. Let’s dig in!

Big-Picture:

Ever notice the economy’s mood swings? It’s perking up like a morning coffee after a four-month slump. Why? Optimism about job opportunities, slowing inflation (finally!), and home prices that are tougher than your grandma’s cookies—still standing tall despite elevated mortgage rates. While two-thirds of Americans think a recession might crash the party in the next year, are we cautiously optimistic or just cautiously cautious? Brighter skies ahead? Grab your shades and stay tuned.

Inflation’s doing a little dance, edging closer to the Fed’s 2% target (meaning it’s unlikely the Fed will raise rates further). But Jerome Powell’s telling investors to “Stay in their seats” because it’s too soon to speculate when the policy might ease. Market bets? There’s a 50% chance the Fed’s cutting rates in March, and by May, they’re practically handing out rate cuts like candy. Sweet deal or sugar rush? You decide.

Mortgage rates are taking a chill pill, enjoying their fifth consecutive week of decline to a cool 7.22%. It’s like the rates are on vacation, and we’re all invited to join the party. Cue the beach vibes and mortgage savings.

Now, onto the economy stress levels: 96% of adults are sweating it, and 27% are “doom spending” to cope. If retail therapy had a PhD, it would be this. Nearly a third of shoppers are throwing caution to the wind and racking up debt. Economic stress meets shopaholic confessions—coming soon to a reality show near you.

Marketing Industry:

Black Friday vibes hit different this year! Online sales danced their way up by 7.7%, and the magic? Retailers were handing out discounts like candy—31% off, on average. But wait, there’s a sinister twist to this story. Some retailers played the “fake Black Friday” game, raising prices before the big day and then dropping them back to “discounted” rates during the sale. Sneaky or savvy? 

Ad spending is on the rise! Excluding political ads, we’re looking at a 5.9% growth in 2023—almost 1% higher than expected. And get this: digital ad spending is forecasted to grow another 5.2% next year.

Meanwhile, over at X (formerly Twitter), Elon Musk admitted that the decision by advertisers to take a step back from the platform “is going to kill the company.” Yikes, Twitter, we hope you’ve got a backup plan.

Just for Fun:

Return policies just got a makeover! 59% of major retailers say, “You keep that inflatable couch; we don’t want it back.” Unwanted or damaged items? Consider them gifts from the retail gods. Who knew returns could be so generous?

Are you looking for an adrenaline rush? Become an air traffic controller! There’s a shortage; the lucky ones pulling the graveyard shift are clocking in 60-hour weeks. Reports of mid-air napping and substance use? It’s just another day in the wild world of air traffic control. Is anyone up for a career change?

Those are all our industry insights for now, my friends! Now, I’m off to apply for one of those air traffic controller vacancies.

Your friendly Industry Insights devotee, 

JD

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Jordan DeGraw

Jordan DeGraw

JD is an Enterprise Marketing Consultant, specializing in Paid Social. He finds satisfaction in coming up with exciting new strategies to take things to the next level. He often finds himself seeking to uncover the marketing strategies behind the everyday things all around us.

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