The holiday season has arrived, and it appears that the trend of early holiday shopping is taking a backseat this year. This shift in timing is indicative of the economy slowly returning to normalcy after being heavily impacted by the pandemic. U.S. retail sales have fallen for the first time since March, which suggests that we are still dealing with the ripple effects of the pandemic.
According to Senior Economist Robert Spendlove, this shift in timing reflects the economy’s ongoing struggle with the aftermath of the pandemic. He draws a comparison between the pandemic and a rock being thrown into a lake – with ripples still being felt long after the impact. While there have been improvements in employment data, inflation, and retail spending, we are yet to achieve that elusive soft landing that everyone hopes for.
Despite months-early holiday shopping becoming more common during the height of the pandemic when last-minute shopping was not an option, Spendlove believes that returning to a more traditional timeline is a good sign. With cooling down economies and hopefully soon returning to normalcy, it is predicted that shopping will pick up after Thanksgiving. This return to more normal holiday shopping trends seems to indicate that economic normalcy is on its way back.
Overall, while things are improving slowly, it’s important to remember that we are still dealing with some lingering effects of the pandemic on our economy. However, as we continue to navigate through these uncertain times together, hope remains for a brighter future ahead!