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Analysis

Good News for Retailers: Consumers Plan to Spend More This Year on Holiday Gifts

Betty Tűndik

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U.S. Households Plan to Spend an Average of $627 this Season

With consumer confidence at an 18-year high, U.S. households are approaching the holidays in good spirits, with intentions to spend about $627 on gifts this season, according to a survey by The Conference Board. This is well above last year’s estimated $560. In keeping with the holiday tradition of bargain hunting, consumers say they will be expecting discounts. In fact, more than a third say they expect – at a minimum – to purchase half their gifts at a discount.

The survey of holiday gift spending intentions, based on a probability-design random sample, is conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and analytics around what consumers buy and watch. The survey was conducted for The Conference Board in October as part of the Consumer Confidence Survey®.

“Consumers are excited about the holiday season and are ready to shop,” said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “Consumer confidence is at an 18-year high. Unemployment is the lowest in decades. Given the strong economy and job growth – with expectations of more in the New Year – retailers should expect strong demand this season, with the potential to be one of the best shopping seasons in years. However, they will still face a tough and discriminating consumer – one who is expecting bargains and willing to wait for a deal. Retailers will need to get creative and offer numerous deals and promotions, especially given the increased competition from online merchants.”

According to the survey, approximately 12 percent of consumers plan to spend more this year on holiday gifts. Sixty-five percent plan to spend about the same as last year, and the remaining 24 percent say they plan to spend less. A greater number of consumers will be shopping online, with more than 37 percent of consumers planning to make at least half of their purchases online.

Source: The Conference Board Holiday Spending Survey, October 2018

I am a conscientious, open minded, adaptable to new experiences and ambitious person who likes to share interesting learning and news about lifestyle and particularly healthy vegan lifestyle. Through my studies I've obtained many naturopathic and nutrition degrees and my part-time roles have added marketing, network marketing, event management and store management skills to my experiences. I've gained knowledge of costumer relationship management, by maintaining the business relationships with the company's foreign client database. My online marketing and social media interactivity experience was gained when me and my husband started a business with an online/organic webshop & healthy lifestyle consultancy. I've improved my English at Cambridge Academy of English - 2003, in Cambridge. I live a conscious lifestyle, and try to protect the ecosystem. Animal lover and capable of helping others without judgement or negative reactions, this is thanked to my knowledge in holistic therapies and the naturopathy courses I've followed. I've also took part on Vegan Cooking and Raw Vegan short course in Budapest. I also had the opportunity BodyMind Institute's student in Canada. At this moment I'm also a student at International School, learning to have a diploma in recruitment and HR assessment. I cannot leave far my spiritual growth and the continuous development in alternative and holistic therapies, so I'm learning at Kyron School of New Consciousness, receiving a Bio Energo-therapist diploma. My Professional Goals include continuing to grow in knowledge and pursue a career in Management, health related retail or marketing, healthy lifestyle coaching and advisory, organisation and coordination, but I am every time open to new. You can read my stories, browse throught the news I write and edit daily, in the following categories: Cannabis, Health Care/Hospitals, Entertainment, Health & Lifestyle, Alternative Energies, Food & Beverages, Animals/Pets, Cosmetics and Personal Care, Alternative Medicine and many more. You can get in touch to discuss interviews or possible article submissions via e-mail on betty.tundik@picante.today or call our office number: 0040 731 394 220. Let's also connect via social media! You can find me on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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Analysis

Travel managers forecast strongest year-by-year growth in a decade

Vlad Poptamas

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45 % of travel managers expect more travel in 2019 according to the AirPlus Market Insights - Source: AirPlus International
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

The number of business trips, and the cost of those trips, is set to rise in 2019, according to the 14th annual International Travel Management Study from AirPlus International. Almost half (45 percent) of the 777 corporate travel managers surveyed by AirPlus in 24 countries expect their company to travel more in the year ahead. That figure is up from 35 percent in 2018 and the highest since the global financial crisis of the late 2000s.

Only 10 percent of travel managers believe their company will travel less, while 44 percent expect no change. India is the country where the highest number of travel managers (83 percent) forecast more trips in 2019. In contrast, 33 percent of Russian travel managers, more than any other country, predict less travel.

Travel managers are economic optimists

Almost half (46 percent) of travel managers expect the global economy to affect business travel positively in 2019. That is well up on last year (27 percent) and the highest figure in the six years the study has asked this question. Only 16 percent of travel managers expect the economy to affect business travel negatively, down from 20 percent in 2018.

The optimism among travel managers may seem surprising given several risks threatening to slow the global economy in 2019, including Brexit, slower growth in the Chinese economy and international trade disputes. But at the time of writing, the International Monetary Fund’s 2019 forecast for global GDP growth is 3.7 percent (slower than 2018 but still a relatively high figure), and business travel volume and GDP have long been shown to correlate.

Expect business travel to cost more in 2019

The almost inevitable consequence of more travel is more cost, and sure enough 51 percent of travel managers expect their company to increase its travel spend in 2019 — up from 41 percent in 2018.

“Our travel managers’ prediction of increased corporate travel highlights the importance that business travel has gained over the years. Regardless of any possibly positive or negative effects of the global economy, travel managers consider business travel to be necessary and essential in order to gain new business and meet corporate challenges,” says AirPlus Marketing Director Yaël Klein. “But more travel also means companies need to pay increased attention to controlling their rising spend. Luckily, there are many excellent tools and techniques to help track and manage travel spend. 2019 is definitely the year to put this good travel management practice in place, or review them if you already have a strong managed program.”

Action points recommended by AirPlus to control budgets include:

  • Make sure you have a good corporate payment solution providing the best possible travel spend data.
  • Review your policy to identify fresh potential savings.
  • Re-visit your supplier deals. If you have more spend, you also have more spending power.
  • Communicate. Tell your travelers that costs are increasing and keep them focused on spending wisely.
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Analysis

Renewed support from the community: $1,763,200 raised for the 16th edition of the Guignolée du Dr Julien

Vlad Poptamas

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Photo source: LaPresse.ca
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

The community once again showed its support for the 16th Guignolée du Dr Julien which ended this week. A total of $1,763,200 was raised benefiting the Fondation du Dr Julien’s three centres of expertise: the Assistance d’enfants en difficulté (AED) centre in the Hochelaga neighbourhood, the Garage à musique (GAM) in the Maisonneuve neighbourhood, and the Centre de services préventifs à l’enfance (CSPE) in the Côte-des-Neiges neighbourhood.

This amount represents approximately 40% of the funds required to offer free quality care and professional services to children and their families living in vulnerable environments where our centres are located.

“Once again this year, we are deeply touched and grateful for the unwavering support and generosity of the community. On behalf of the Fondation’s three centres of expertise and training, I would like to extend heartfelt thanks to everyone who has supported us and continues to do so. The ongoing support of the community is a crucial element that allows us to care for and empower these children and youths whose development has been compromised by difficult life circumstances,” said Dr. Gilles Julien, Clinical Director, Founding President and Chief Executive Officer of the Fondation du Dr Julien.

The Fondation team would like to give special thanks to the many volunteers who took part in this 16th edition of the Guignolée du Dr Julien, and all its partners: the co-founders Ève Christian (also godmother of the event) and Caroline Lafrance, the godfather of the event, Christian Bégin; Santa Claus, Louis Émond; the team from Samedi et rien d’autre, which was hosted for the 13th consecutive year by Joël Le Bigot and broadcast on ICI Radio-Canada Première; Jean-Charles Lajoie for hosting the traditional children’s street hockey game for the 10th time; TELUS for its help with the call centre; and the Jean Coutu Group for its ongoing support with the downloadable Fondation du Dr Julien sticker pack. The Fondation would also like to thank 91.9 Sports and the RNC Media network for its support throughout Quebec.

Other community social pediatrics centres certified by the Fondation du Dr Julien or in the process of being certified also held their own guignolées on December 15, raising a total of $996,595. The funds collected by each centre will be used to provide care and services to children in their community, in addition to the services already offered in each region.

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Analysis

NYC Home Surplus Builds as Overpriced Inventory Lingers on Market

Vlad Poptamas

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Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

The sales market’s turbulent year ends with inventory close to peak levels citywide, according to the Q4 2018 StreetEasy Market Reports

Last quarter, the number of homes for sale grew at double-digit rates in all five boroughs for the first time ever. In Manhattan, sales inventory rose 15.4 percent year over year, the fastest annual rate of growth in the fourth quarter since the financial crisis. As a result, fourth-quarter inventory was at its highest level since 2010, according to the Q4 StreetEasy Market Reportsi. Brooklyn and Queens also saw significant annual increases in inventory, up 22.0 percent and 30.8 percent, respectively.

Although the listing of new for-sale homes slowed in the fourth quarter from the record highs reached earlier in the year, total inventory rose as overpriced homes lingered on the market. Homes that were fairly priced, however, sold in a similar timeframe as in 2017. Units that went into contract in Manhattan during the fourth quarter of 2018 spent a median of 86 days on the market, an increase of nine days from the previous year. In Brooklyn, homes took a median of 68 days to sell, down two days from the same period a year earlier. In Queens, homes spent 78 days on the market, just two days longer than in the fourth quarter of 2017.

“The glut of unrealistically priced homes in the city has been a main driver of the slow-moving market that ended 2018 – causing more and more homes to pile up before the new year and heightening competition among sellers,” said StreetEasy Senior Economist Grant Long. “Heading into 2019, sellers who are unwilling to budge on price are going to face an unforgiving market. Many sellers will have to make difficult pricing decisions in early 2019, particularly with another wave of inventory set to hit the market as the home-buying season heats up in the spring.”

See below for additional sales and rental market trends across Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens.

Q4 2018 Key Findings — Manhattan

  • Prices dropped for the fourth consecutive quarter. The StreetEasy Manhattan Price Indexii dropped 3.0 percent to $1,132,214, its lowest level since 2015.
  • The Upper West Side saw the lowest number of recorded sales since the financial crisis. There were 405 recorded salesiii in the Upper West Sideiv in the fourth quarter of 2018 – a 23.7 percent annual drop.
  • More than a quarter of homes had their price cut. The share of homes with a price cut in Manhattan increased by 4.9 percentage points year over year, reaching 26.8 percent. The median price cut amount remained unchanged, at 5.7 percent of the home’s total price.
  • Rents rose in all submarkets. The StreetEasy Manhattan Rent Indexv increased 2.4 percent annually, reaching $3,207. Rents rose the most in Upper Manhattanvi, up 2.4 percent to an all-time high of $2,380.
  • The share of units offering rental concessions dropped. In the fourth quarter of 2018, 14.9 percent of rentals in Manhattan offered a concessionvii, down 7.3 percentage points from last year — the largest annual drop since 2010.

Q4 2018 Key Findings — Brooklyn

  • Prices rose after dipping briefly in the third quarter. The StreetEasy Brooklyn Price Index increased 2.6 percent annually to $711,578. Prices in South Brooklyn[viii] rose the most, reaching $724,055, an increase of 5.5 percent year-over-year.
  • Recorded sales fell to 2012 levels. The number of recorded sales in Brooklyn dropped 18.8 percent annually, matching levels last seen in 2012.
  • Homes came off the market two days faster. The median number of days on market dipped to 68 in Brooklyn, down two days from last year. Brooklyn was the only borough where median days on market dipped.
  • Rents continued to climb. The StreetEasy Brooklyn Rent Index increased 1.5 percent to $2,584. Rents rose the most in Northwest Brooklyn, increasing 3.3 percent annually to $3,058.
  • Only 1 in 10 rentals offered concessions. Concessions were harder to find in Brooklyn, with the share of units offering concessions down 8.7 percentage points from a year prior.

Q4 2018 Key Findings — Queens

  • Prices continued to rise. The StreetEasy Queens Price Index increased 5.0 percent to $520,312. Home prices rose in every Queens submarket, led by growth in Central Queens[ix], where prices rose 6.9 percent to $539,006.
  • There were more than 1,000 more homes on the market than in the fourth quarter of 2017. Total sales inventory increased 30.8 percent in Queens. Sales inventory jumped the most in Long Island City, on the heels of the Amazon HQ2 announcement — up 45.2 percent annually.
  • More Queens sellers offered price cuts. The share of homes with a price cut rose 5.6 percentage points year-over-year to 19.3 percent in the borough. The median price cut amount remained unchanged at 4.5 percent.
  • Rents reached an all-time high. The StreetEasy Queens Rent Index increased 2.6 percent annually, reaching $2,164.
  • Landlords advertised concessions on fewer units. The share of rentals advertising concessions fell to 9.6 percent in Queens – down 5.6 percentage points annually.

The complete StreetEasy Market Reports for Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, with additional neighborhood data and graphics, can be viewed at streeteasy.com/blog/research/market-reports/. Definitions of StreetEasy’s metrics and monthly data from each report can be downloaded at https://streeteasy.com/blog/data-dashboard/.

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