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FYI

Business Outlook

Briefly.....

The New Year brings both challenges and new opportunities. If forecasts are correct, there will be plenty of both for retailers.

The National Retail Federation's Susan Reda noted, "satisfying shoppers in 2009 will come down to finding ways to provide in-depth access to product data."

According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the country was officially in a recession throughout 2008.

"Consumers remain extremely pessimistic," said the Conference Board's Lynn Franco.

Casual Living's own exclusive consumer survey, conducted in conjunction with HGTV, showed consumers want to know how their outdoor furniture is made, what it's made of and how well it will stand up to the elements. Retailers who give them answers in a cogent and believable manner will have a leg up on making the sale in tough economic times.

National 2008
Nov. 6.7%
Oct. 6.5%


2007 2008
Q4r Q1r Q2r Q3r Aug.r Sept.r Oct.p
r = revised; p = preliminary
Covers most short- and intermediate-term credit extended to individuals, excluding loans secured by real estate.
Nonrevolving credit includes automobile loans and all other loans not included in revolving credit, such as loans for mobile homes, education, boats, trailers or vacations. These loans may be secured or unsecured.
Source: Federal Reserve
Total 4.1% 4.8% 3.9% 1.2% -3.0% 3.1% -1.6%
Revolving 7.7 7.6 3.5 4.4 2.5 3.1 -0.2
Nonrevolving 2.0 3.1 4.2 -0.7 -6.3 3.2 -2.5


Permits United States Northeast Midwest South West
Oct. '08 numbers are preliminary
Source: Bureau of the Census and National Assn. of Realtors
Oct. '08 708 71 129 353 155
Change from Oct. '07 -40.1% -51.0% -30.3% -36.3% -48.0%
Starts
Oct. '08 791 78 126 416 171
Change from Oct. '07 -38.0% -51.6% -38.2% -33.9% -39.1%
New home sales
Oct. '08 433 38 71 233 91
Change from Oct. '07 -40.1% -41.5% -44.5% -38.5% -39.7%
Existing home sales
Oct. '08 4,980 830 1,100 1,840 1,210
Change from Oct. '07 -1.6% -9.8% -9.1% -10.2% 37.5%


Last year
12/4/2008 12/6/2007
Dow 8376.24 13619.89
NASDAQ 1084.71 2237.08


Source: Data Network, Huntington, N.Y.
Information and data herein, though believed accurate, is not guaranteed. Data Network is not liable for any inaccuracies.
Dow -38.50%
NASDAQ -51.51%


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