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“2012 was a year in which – for the most part – e-commerce continued to grow strongly, despite an uneven macroeconomic environment showing signs of recovery but also cause for continued concern,” said comScore executive chairman and co-founder Gian Fulgoni. “With e-commerce growth rates consistently in the mid-teens throughout the year, it is clear that the online channel has won over the American consumer and will increasingly be relied upon to deliver on the dimensions of lower price, convenience and selection.”
However, the fiscal cliff and its side effects have yet to be fully seen. Fulgoni explains, “The only real blemish on an otherwise outstanding year for e-commerce was a holiday season that fell shy of initial expectations, apparently due to consumers’ fiscal cliff concerns. To the extent that this pullback was just a temporary shock and not a sign of underlying economic weakness, we are optimistic that 2013 will build on the momentum of the past year.”
While it is still early into the new year, the health of the American consumer is not looking good. On Friday, Bloomberg News revealed internal emails that showed Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) executives discussing the dire state of consumers. “In case you haven’t seen a sales report these days, February MTD sales are a total disaster, wrote Jerry Murray, Wal-Mart’s vice president of finance and logistics. “The worst start to a month I have seen in my ~7 years with the company.”
What and how are consumers buying…
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