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How jolly was the holiday?

How Jolly Was the Holiday?

The latest Indiana unemployment rate, for October, was down from the previous month's figures, while the latest U.S. rate was higher. For the Indiana figure to be decreasing in the face of a nationwide recession is unprecedented.

Such unusual behavior in the state's labor-force picture entering the holidays would appear to foretell a jolly Christmas for Indiana retailer. Also, the September seasonally adjusted sales figure for Indiana -- after additional adjustment for discrepancy in trading days--was up 0.1 percent from August and slightly ahead of the year-ago volume. That's about what one could expect as the holiday season neared. So will Christmas sales figures, when they're released, reveal a happy holiday period?

For Indiana retail merchants to experience a "normal" sales performance during the Christmas season the average sales volume should rise about 2.0 percent in October from September, the November volume should match the October volume, and December sales should rise about 18 percent from the November totals.

A disappointing Christmas season, on the other hand, often is presaged by pre-Christmas special sales and reduced prices. The prospect of disappointing sales is very real for many of the nation's major markets, and Indiana may not escape the effects of the spreading recession.
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Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Indiana Indicators; Christmas sales
Publication:Indiana Business Magazine
Date:Jan 1, 1991
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