Skip to main content

Economic Outlook as Back-to-School and Holiday Orders Begin

Holiday shopping begins in June, with retailers facing inventory challenges and uncertainty. Inflation may fall, but increasing interest rates may trigger a drop in consumer spending.
Friday, Jun 23, 2023

It’s only June, but the holiday shopping season starts now as businesses put in their back-to-school orders, which begins the retail ramp-up to the holidays. This article from CNBC takes a look at where retailers are in terms of inventory and expectations as we head into this crucial part of the year.

The article states that different sectors are facing different challenges in the face of uncertainty. While most expect inflation to continue to fall, the solution to inflation—increasing interest rates—may trigger a drop in consumer spending and demand.

Home improvement is one category facing losses after seeing extreme growth on the back of lockdown-influenced home improvement projects. As inflation forces consumers to tighten their belts, big projects like home improvement take a back seat to buying groceries. Consumers will look to save money in other ways, most notably by choosing less-expensive brands.

2023’s peak season might only be a small improvement over 2022’s, when there “was no peak season,” the article states, paraphrasing Drew Wilkerson, CEO of RXO. Holiday spending is expected to look more like 2018 or 2019.

Read the full article for more insights from economists and industry experts here.