Industry Insights: July 26, 2023
by Jordan DeGraw • July 26, 2023
“Please Prepare for (Soft) Landing”
Welcome back to our weekly Industry Insights blog post, where we dive into the latest happenings and trends shaping the economic and marketing landscapes. It’s always a pleasure to have you here, so let’s jump right in!
Let’s start with some good news! Inflation has finally cooled down to 3% in June, marking a full year of continuous decline. Even better, wages have started to outpace inflation for the first time in over a year. This is a positive sign for workers who have been feeling the pinch of rising prices. However, some economists caution that this could lead to a new cycle of price hikes as companies might increase prices to offset the rising wages. It’s a delicate balance, and only time will tell how it unfolds.
The stock market is riding high on optimism, with all major indexes seeing gains. The S&P 500 has shot up by an impressive 17% this year, bringing smiles to investors’ faces. Consumers are feeling the positive vibes too, as sentiment has reached a two-year high this month. It seems like the economy is on the right track for a “soft landing” that the Fed has been hoping for.
Not everything is rosy; rent prices have been soaring, outpacing inflation by 40% and the average income by 7% since 1985. If we look at the numbers, the median rent today is $1,163, while it would have been just $939 if it had kept pace with inflation. On the other hand, homebuyers might find a bit of relief, as median home list prices are expected to dip by 0.6% this year, contrary to earlier estimates that predicted a rise of 5.4%.
Now, let’s shift our focus to the automotive industry. The average car payment in the US has hit a record high of $733, up from $678 a year ago. This reflects not only the rising costs of vehicles but also increased car loan rates. Keep an eye on your budget if you’re considering buying a new ride!
Time to dive into the world of marketing! Remember Threads, the new Instagram feature that was just hyped up? Well, it seems like its glory days are behind it, as the number of daily active users has declined by 20%, and time spent on the app has dropped by 50%. Time will tell if Threads has the staying power of its rival, Twitter. Additionally, Meta has confirmed that ads won’t be available until the platform reaches critical mass, but it plans to bring branded content tools to the app soon.
Speaking of advertising, presidential candidates have already splurged $480 million on political advertising in 2023, nearly double the amount spent during the same period in 2019. We’re curious to see how this will impact the cost per thousand impressions (CPMs) and how ads will play a role in shaping public opinion as we move closer to elections.
Amazon Prime Day broke records yet again, raking in an astounding $12.7 billion in sales, a 6.1% increase from last year. However, what caught our attention was the rise of “buy now, pay later” options, accounting for $927 million in revenue with a 20% increase. It seems consumers are embracing this payment model for a more flexible shopping experience.
Just for Fun:
Let’s wrap up with some fun insights! Did you know that a 4-day workweek is gaining popularity among businesses? A recent survey revealed that 20% of business leaders have already adopted this policy, while 41% plan to implement it soon. The best part? Those who’ve embraced the 4-day workweek report increased competitiveness for top talent and improved profitability. It’s fantastic to see companies exploring innovative ways to support their employees’ work-life balance!
Lastly, while we often associate luxury with grand and expensive items, research shows that some of the most valuable luxuries money can buy are quite simple and enriching. Living in and around nature, finding a peaceful and quiet place to reside, and having small, frequent experiences are proven to boost sustained happiness more than big dopamine spikes. Are these the treasures worth pursuing?
That’s all for this week’s Industry Insights. I hope you enjoyed our roundup of news and trends from different sectors. Remember, knowledge is power, and staying informed helps us navigate the ever-changing landscape of business and beyond.
As always, thank you for being part of our community. We’ll be back next week with more exciting updates and engaging content.
Until then, have a wonderful week ahead! Bon appétit!
Your friendly Industry Insights devotee,