According to the Conference Board, consumer confidence has surged to 110, the highest it has been since the onset of the pandemic last March. The index has bounced back from a low of 89.6 in February.
Moving forward, Central Savannah River Area business owners can expect buyer optimism to remind high.
“The recovery in consumer confidence is set to continue in the coming months, buoyed by the combination of improving health conditions and wider vaccine distribution,” said Lydia Boussour, lead U.S. economist at Oxford Economics. “This should support hearty consumer spending and pave the way for a mini-boom in economic activity this spring and summer.”
As CSRA consumers gain confidence, they are expected to unleash the record $2.3-billion in personal savings amassed during the pandemic. This number is based on figures reported by Barron's in November.
This combination of consumer confidence and the cache of cash-on-hand has led the National Retail Federation (NRF) to forecast a 7% increase in retail spending in 2021 versus last year.
To claim a significant share of the expected spending tsunami, Augusta area business owners plan to boost advertising investments this year.
According to Borrell Associates, a company that tracks advertising trends across the country, Augusta business owners are expected to spend $210 million to advertise the goods and services they sell. This represents a 6.0% increase versus last year.