Robust fourth quarter forecast set for retail

MARIETTA — Recent achievement does not equal future performance.  But, if August is an…

Georgia (Nov 24, 2014)MARIETTA — Recent achievement does not equal future performance. 


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But, if August is an indication of things to come, then Donald Sabbarese has strong hopes Cobb is in store for a potent fourth quarter in the retail sector.  

From where Sabbarese sits, he gets a first-hand look of the firestorm surrounding the fourth quarter every year. The professor of economics, finance and quantitative analysis at Kennesaw State University said that while there are varying numbers out there on what may or may not happen, he expects Cobb’s performance, driven by its diverse economy, to be consistent with the national numbers.

“If August is a harbinger of what to expect, it should improve,” said Sabbarese, who is also director of KSU’s Econometric Center. “Up until July and August, retail sales were weak. July began to show some positive signs, while August retail sales are up sixth-tenths of a percent and 4.8 percent year-to-year. Lower gas and energy prices have contributed to this up tick after earlier weak numbers prior to July.”

Overall, Sabbarese said the snapshot of auto, apparel and restaurant sales — a key indicator of consumers’ discretionary expenditures — are a good place to start. August auto sales, which continue to remain strong, are up 1.5 percent (9.5 percent year-to-year), while apparel sales are up three-tenths of a percent (3.2 percent year-to-year). 


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