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fashion-features

No April Showers:Consumers Upbeat But Pay Worries Loom

The Consumer Confidence Index jumped to 92.9 from 88.5 in March, reflecting an upbeat mood based on an improved jobs picture.

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“One of the issues is the price of gasoline. Our question to consumers was at what price per gallon does gas prices need to reach before consumers cut back on home and apparel items. Our results indicate that 56.2 percent of the respondents nationally would cut back once [a gallon of gas hits] the $1.75 to $2 range,” Drenick said.

He noted that while 18.8 percent said it wouldn’t matter even if a gallon rose as high as $3, that percentage was also attributed to a group of consumers that could maintain their consumption habits because of a traditionally far higher income level.

Regarding apparel, the response was flat for April versus last month for consumers who planned to buy “women’s dress clothing,” according to Drenick. The responses were “off slightly” for planned purchases of women’s casual apparel, according to the survey. The results were similar for planned purchases of men’s apparel, as well as children’s apparel and footwear.

The results also indicate a trend that consumers now are taking a good hard look at allocation of family finances, and perhaps a suggestion that they may be less inclined to be tempted by the latest fashions.
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