“The most important and statistically significant factors for stronger retail sales performance in January are the consumer confidence index followed closely by less severe weather,” said Bill Kirk, CEO Weather Trends International. Last year the January index was at an all time low (38) which in part explains the disastrous retail SSS results of -4.8% according to ICSC’s tally of 60 major retailers vs. this year’s confidence index of 53. While 53 is nothing to get too excited about (90 is a strong index indicating a strong economy) it’s still better than last year and combined with the more favorable weather trends retailers should post gains in-line to higher than expected when results are announced Thursday, February 4th. Over the past 25 years a stronger than expected December (December 2009 brought very strong industry gains of +3.6% according to ICSC) is followed by a stronger than expected January 82% of cases so the math suggests more retailers will again be in positive territory!
For a complete business-weather roundup click on the link below for a detailed PDF summary report: