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FYI

Business Outlook

Briefly.....

As consumers prepare themselves for summer's outdoor activities, durability seems to be a significant element in the outdoor dining set purchase. According to Casual Living and HGTV's exclusive 2008 Consumer Views Survey, 99% of responding consumers picked durability as their top feature choice when deciding to purchase an outdoor dining set.

With one-fourth of consumers anticipating an outdoor dining set purchase this year, it's important for specialty retailers to remember the top three reasons a consumer would be willing to shop their store first.

Consumers are looking for:

  • Wide product selection,

  • Stores with a good reputation,

  • Merchandise that is in stock or available soon.

Consumer credit outstanding
Percent change at annual rate
Seasonally adjusted

2008 2009
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1p Feb.r Mar.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 4.8% 3.9% 1.3% -3.0% -1.9% -3.8% -5.2%
Revolving 7.6 3.5 4.6 -6.2 -6.5 -12.1 -6.8
Nonrevolving 3.1 4.2 -0.6 -1.1 0.9 1.2 -4.2


Housing
Unit numbers in thousands
Seasonally adjusted annual rate

Permits United States Northeast Midwest South West
March '09 numbers are preliminary
Source: Bureau of the Census and National Assn. of Realtors
March '09 513 56 84 269 104
Change from Mar. '08 -45.0% -49.5% -33.3% -46.4% -46.1%
Starts
March '09 510 67 102 268 73
Change from Mar. '08 -48.4% -41.7% -24.4% -48.0% -67.3%
New home sales
March '09 356 19 47 206 84
Change from Mar. '08 -30.6% -32.1% -32.9% -29.7% -31.1%
Existing home sales
March '09 4,570 690 1,040 1,710 1,130
Change from Mar. '08 -7.1% -22.5% -11.1% -10.9% 18.9%


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