Friday, 18 December 2009

What's a Christmas tree worth on Christmas Eve?

This is a favourite old economics poser; how much is a Christmas tree worth on Christmas Eve? The answer depends on whether you're a tree retailer desperate to get rid of the last of your stock which will become worthless the day after, or the last-minute buyer of a must-have seasonal accessory.

Disappointing November retail sales - at a time when retailers were expecting punters to bring expenditure forward in advance of the return of the old VAT rate - will lead, I think, to disappointing Christmas sales, despite the attempts of the retailers to talk the market up over the past week or so.

And the Harpex is still bumping along a new low. With gilt prices set to become the issue as soon as the current round of QE ends, and soaring financing costs to maintain the price, and no sign of a retail stimulus, things look gloomy indeed. Consumer confidence will only start to return once Brown and his corrupt cabal are out of office; every day he clings to power costs our economy, and ourselves, dear.

2 comments:

Bill Quango MP said...

Don't forget the 6 - 9 month lead times on orders to shipping.
All the summer stock should begin shipping around Feb.

Its been pretty poor so far for December.
Wk 1 slow
wk 2 good
wk 3 slow again
wk 4 - to come.

Expect a positive set of results overall as inventories are way down and facing figures are soft. But still many will be disappointed that it hasn't really taken off as expected.

Bill Quango MP said...

Oh forgot. Another really really reliable indicator of the strength of Xmas retail sales is the traffic.
Listen out for jams near shopping centres. Haven't heard too many.