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“黑色星期五”隐含着美国经济什么信号?

2015-12-04    来源:财富中文网    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

“黑色星期五”隐含着美国经济什么信号?

对于零售商来说,假日购物季都是非常关键的时期。而今年,很多经济学家预测,零售商们将难以斩获佳绩。

Thanksgiving will be a big test of that. On Sunday, National Retail Federation will report how stores did on Black Friday weekend. And many expect sales this year to be lackluster. A recent survey by Boston Consulting Group predicted that Americans would be “tight and frugal” in coming weeks. “This holiday season, consumers are going to be cautious and frugal. Expect at best a 4.5% increase in spending over last year and a tepid Black Friday,” says BCG Senior Partner Michael J. Silverstein.
感恩节就是一个很大的考验。11月29日,美国零售联合会将发布各大商家在“黑色星期五”周末的业绩。但很多人预测,今年“黑五”的业绩不会有什么亮点。波士顿咨询集团(BCG)最新调查也预测,美国民众在接下来的几周之中将“紧缩和节俭”。BCG高级合伙人迈克•希尔维斯滕认为,“在今年的假日购物季中,消费者在购物时将表现得更为谨慎和节约。据预计,今年‘黑五’消费支出的同比增长速度最多能达到4.5%,可谓是不愠不火。”

Poor Thanksgiving numbers may lead some to further question the health of a number ofstruggling retailers like Macy’sor Gap Inc.. It also may cause some to rethink the idea that the economy is improving, especially given the fact that the U.S. GDP is increasingly composed of consumer spending.
比如,梅西百货、盖普等零售商目前已是步履维艰,而感恩节毫无起色的业绩可能会让人们进一步质疑这些企业的健康状况。受此影响,尤其是考虑到消费支出在美国GDP中的比重正在日渐加大这一事实,人们可能会重新审视“经济正在好转”这一说法。

But a number of economists suggest reading too much into Black Friday’s results would be a mistake, especially this year. For one, the fact that 20% of all retail sales occur in November actually shows just how much of our shopping we do the rest of the year. If all shopping were spread evenly throughout the year, we’d expect about 16% of sales to happen during the holiday shopping months of November and December. So a relatively “tepid” holiday shopping season doesn’t necessarily have to have a large effect on the economy as a whole.
但是,多位经济学家表示,这种过于看重“黑五”数据的做法是不正确的,尤其是在今年。首先,11月零售额占到了全年总额的20%,这实际上也反映了一年其余时间零售额的比重。如果一年中所有的零售业绩呈平均分布状态,那么11-12月购物季的销售额理应占到总额的约16%。因此,一个业绩相对温和的假日购物季,并不一定会对整体经济造成很大的影响。

What’s more, High Frequency Economics wrote in a research note this week that while Black Friday weekend results get a lot of attention, its track record of predicting how overall holiday sales will do is “abysmal.” Last year, for instance, the NRF’s Black Friday survey suggested a 11.3% drop in spending from a year ago. Yet, holiday sales actually rose 4.1% last year. In 2010, 2011, 2012, on the other hand, the Black Friday survey significantly overstated the strength of retail sales. “In general, we believe the importance of the holiday shopping season for overall economic trends is greatly exaggerated,” wrote HFE’s Chief U.S. Economist Jim O’Sullivan.
此外,高频经济公司(High Frequency Economics,HFE)在本周的研究纪要中写道,尽管“黑色星期五”周末的业绩得到了不少关注,但历史上人们对于整体假日销售业绩的预测却是频频出错。例如,NRF在去年的“黑五”调查中预测,消费支出将同比下降11.3%。然而,去年的假日季销售总额却上升了4.1%。另一方面,在2010、2011和2012年,黑五调查对零售销售业绩的预估却大大超出了实际表现。HFE首席美国经济学家吉姆•欧苏利文写道,“总体来说,我们认为,人们过于夸大了假日购物季对美国经济趋势的影响力。”

And that may be even more true this year. Retail sales growth in 2015 has been weaker than economists were expecting, especially when considering how cheap gas prices—which should put extra spending money in consumer’s pockets—have been for more than a year now.
今年,这一点可能更加明显。到目前为止,汽油价格的超低位走势已经持续了一年有余,消费者手头理应会变得更为宽裕,然而,2015年的零售业绩增长却一直低于经济学家的预期。

But this slow down in retail sales growth hasn’t actually dragged down overall economic growth. On Tuesday, The Bureau of Economic Analysis revised up its estimate for third quarter economic growth, helped by increased corporate investment and more home building. This uptick in business investment is one reason why some economists are confident that economic growth will at least match last year’s rate of 2.4% and help power the economy to slightly faster growth next year. One of the traits that has defined the recovery following the Great Recession is very weak business investment, which is needed to fuel productivity and wage growth.
然而,零售业绩增长的放缓实际上并未拖累整体经济增长。12月1日,鉴于企业投资和住房修建的增加,美国经济分析局上调了对第三季度经济增长的预估。一些经济学家坚信,今年的经济增速至少会与去年2.4%的增速持平,而这有助于略微提振明年的经济增速。他们之所以能有此想法,其中的一个原因便在于商业投资的增长。大萧条之后经济恢复的特点之一便是商业投资的异常疲软,但生产力和薪资的增长却需要商业投资来拉动。

But as Neil Dutta, Head of Economics at Renaissance Macro Research points out, history shows that following periods of slow capital growth, a reversion to the trend usually happens. “If past is prologue, we should expect business investment spending to accelerate from its 2015 pace,” Dutta wrote in a research note to clients last week. Not only will increased business investment boost GDP growth, it could also accelerate wage gains through productivity growth. And if wages rise, we could begin to see retail sales rise from the mediocre levels that has characterized 2015.
市场研究公司Renaissance Macro Research经济学部负责人内尔•都塔指出,历史证明,在经历了缓慢增长期之后,资本市场往往会出现反向的发展趋势。他在上周写给客户的研究纪要中提到,“如果过去是一个序幕,那么我们应该能够预见到,商业投资支出的增速将在2015年的基础上有所加速。”



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