New-Vehicle Sales To Climb 9 Percent In September 2014

 New-vehicle sales are expected to increase 9.1 percent year-over-year to a total of 1.24 million units, resulting in an estimated 16.4 million seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR), according to Kelley Blue Book www.kbb.com, the only vehicle valuation and information source trusted and relied upon by both consumers and the automotive industry.  Based on the robust sales pace during the past few months, Kelley Blue Book is adjusting its sales outlook for 2014 from 16.3 million to 16.4 million.

“Following an extraordinarily strong month of sales in August, with the industry above 17 million SAAR for the first time in eight years, Kelley Blue Book expects sales to level out in September,” said Alec Gutierrez, senior analyst for Kelley Blue Book.  “Sales will remain strong and show healthy year-over-year improvement.  Rising incentive spend in recent months has been more than offset by increasing retail transaction prices, signaling continued consumer demand.”

Key Highlights for Estimated September 2014 Sales Forecast:

  • In September, new light-vehicle sales, including fleet, are expected to hit 1,240,000 units, up 9.1 percent from September 2013 and down 21.7 percent from August 2014.
  • The seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) for September 2014 is estimated to be 16.4 million, up from 15.3 million in September 2013 and down from 17.4 million in August 2014.
  • Retail sales are expected to account for 85 percent of volume in September 2014.

Read the rest of this entry »

45% of Americans Choose Banks Based on their Fees

New data from GOBankingRates, a premier personal finance website, reveals that the primary feature consumers seek in a financial institution is few or no fees on products and services.

Forty-five percent of survey respondents reported “low or no fees” as being the most important banking feature or service offered by a financial institution, followed by online and mobile banking (17 percent), convenient branch locations (14 percent), exceptional customer service (12 percent) and great interest rates (12 percent).

CLICK HERE to see full survey details.

“These findings really speak to Americans’ aversion to losing money,” said Jennifer Calonia, senior editor of GOBankingRates. “However, this might be the very handicap preventing bank customers from succeeding at saving money and growing wealth.  As interest rates rise, it will become more important for the average consumer to find high-yielding accounts.” Read the rest of this entry »

Confidence in the American Dream May Be Eroding but Americans’ Financial Satisfaction is on the Rise

Though the U.S. economy is showing signs of recovery, Americans’ belief in the American Dream remains deeply shaken. Of the older Millennials surveyed, ages 25-32, half feel the American Dream is disappearing completely. Forty-five percent of older Baby Boomers, ages 54-64, also share this belief, an increase of 15 percent over the past two years.

Though Americans both young and old generally hold bearish views on the economy, the definition of the American Dream itself appears to be in flux. While older respondents hold close to its traditional definitions—78 percent of older Boomers consider home ownership a key component and 80 percent consider financial independence an equally important element—younger respondents show notably less engagement with these historic benchmarks for financial achievement, instead focusing on developing a monthly budget, suggesting views around financial satisfaction are undergoing fundamental shifts, according to MassMutual’s third biennial study, The 2013 State of the American Family Study, offering a broad snapshot of American families’ financial views.

“We’ve found that American families hold similar core values when it comes to their finances, but one of the study’s key takeaways is that the emphasis placed on these financial views vary between demographic groups,” said Mike Fanning, Executive Vice President, U.S. Insurance Group, MassMutual. “Between generations, ethnicities, and family types, the goals families hold, the confidence they feel, and the financial products and services they use differ in clear and diverse ways.” Read the rest of this entry »

2014 US consumer trends

As 2014 begins, Mintel’s Consumer Trends Analysts Jennifer Zegler and Stacy Glasgow outline the four trends set to impact the American consumer market, examining the areas of commercial opportunity for brands – and what consumers will be buying into in 2014.

Below are brief quotes about each trend. Download the complete Mintel 2014 US consumer trends at www.mintel.com/us2014 or phone the Mintel press line.

Internationalism on the agenda

“In 2013, from the arrival of the UK’s royal baby to the passing of former South African President Nelson Mandela, whether to share joy or to remember, the global community has become close-knit. The immediacy provided by technology heightens connections. People use social media and other innovations to eliminate geographic limits. This year, sporting events, including the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics and the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, will spotlight the host countries. This interest in ‘internationalism’ is already influencing shopping habits; Mintel finds 67% of legal US spirits drinkers are interested in trying alcoholic drinks from other countries including Brazilian cachaca, a sugar-cane-based liquor,” says Jennifer Zegler, consumer trends analyst at Mintel.

“The proliferation of technology makes it possible to instantly search an athlete or country while sporting events also provide an opportunity to create new allegiances. Today, more than half (57%) of professional sports fans say they are loyal to a team that is not near where they live, and long-distance cheering is eased by advancements in technology,” Jennifer continues. Read the rest of this entry »