Perspectives Blog

Apparel retail doldrums

Mari Shor, Senior Equity Analyst | August 11, 2014

…there is reason to believe that apparel spending will improve in the second half of 2014. Macro considerations — Consumers discriminate between durables and non-durables The aftershocks of the 2008 recession remain a part of everyday life for many consumers. While there has been steady improvement in the unemployment rate and job openings, real wage growth remains muted — less than 1% for the past three years — not enough to offset higher prices…

Data breaches — What they mean for retailers, consumers and investors

Stephanie Schneider, Equity Research Analyst | September 15, 2014

…d Visa) deadline to replace every payment terminal to a chip and pin solution is October 2015. What it means for consumers and investors Although credit card fraud can negatively affect retailers and consumers, it may also provide an investment opportunity. Software, insurance and POS hardware companies can all benefit from retailers’ need for enhanced data protection. Retailers always strive to meet customer needs in store and online. With the r…

Half-time report on the U.S. consumer

Marie M. Schofield, CFA, Chief Economist and Senior Portfolio Manager | July 28, 2014

U.S. consumers have taken a more cautious attitude toward debt and been more selective about using it for discretionary purchases. With consumers using credit cards less and using debit cards much more, the supports for higher discretionary spending are keyed off income and wages and also employment. With low debt use and income growth holding back consumption and demand, households will require stronger job growth and real wage gains to accele…

Retail sector outlook – It’s a share game

Mari Shor, Senior Equity Analyst | March 17, 2014

…2) the personal savings rate likely to rebound from near 20-year historical lows, thus eating into spending; 3) consumers’ reluctance to take on additional leverage despite increasing willingness by banks to lend; and 4) limited upward pressure on wages as hiring has lagged prior economic recoveries. On the first point, the “allocation nation” theme should continue to play out in 2014 with consumers spending more on durables (e.g., autos, home-r…

Release the doves

Marie M. Schofield, CFA, Chief Economist and Senior Portfolio Manager | October 20, 2014

The Fed (and all central banks) is highly sensitive to shifts in inflation expectations by either consumers or the markets. The one-year TIP breakeven appears to be pricing in some deflationary pulse and is also pulling down longer term inflation expectations across the curve. My expectations for growth are unchanged at 2.5%-3.0%, but I am concerned there may be some larger shortfall in demand next year for some reason we do not yet know. Whil…

Special report – Commodity markets outlook

Columbia Management, Investment Team | July 21, 2014

In the following Q&A, David Donora, Head of Commodities for Threadneedle Investments, addresses some of the key concerns currently facing investors in commodity markets, and explains his view of the outlook for the market. What is your outlook for commodities for the remainder of 2014? We are bullish on the macro outlook for the rest of 2014. The OECD countries and in particular North America, the region where economic growth is currently th…

Special report – 2014 mid-year review and outlook

Columbia Management, Investment Team | June 16, 2014

Key investment professionals review the first half of 2014 and share their insights into what may be ahead for the second half of the year. Interest rates Zach Pandl, Portfolio manager and strategist Review: Government bond yields declined in early 2014, both in the U.S. and in other developed market economies. This surprising change in course after increases in 2013 caught many investors off guard. In our view, declining interest rates reflect…