I hope when you saw the Conference Board “surprise” Wall St. on Tuesday with its report that consumer confidence hit a 16-year high, you simply rolled your eyes and said, “Yeah, I knew that on Saturday.” Here’s the crazy thing about these old-school economic sentiment reports: The Conference Board cut off its survey on March 16th – 12 days before the report was released. In today’s volatile socio-political-economic era, that’s just silly.
Anyway, I’ll get off my soapbox. Here is a hodgepodge of interesting things we’re seeing this week:
(Sheepishly climbs back on soapbox) I CAN tell you that consumer sentiment already fell between my email last Saturday and the Conference Board announcement on Tuesday. Blame the health care/ACA debacle. I’ll paint a fuller picture next week.
Older Americans are adopting text/SMS as their primary means of communication at a tremendous rate. Phone calling is in steep decline and email is slipping. We don’t normally see time graphs with this kind of slope in them over such a short period of time.
All the controversy over NBA teams resting their star players for the playoffs is much-to-do-about-nothing among the league’s biggest fans. But, as our friend and loyal reader, (gratuitous name-dropping alert!) Mark Cuban, pointed out, the real story in these data is the fact that 70% of Americans still don’t follow the NBA with any regularity. If teams keep stars on the bench, it may help their playoff chances but they’re missing an opportunity to grow the sport.
People go to the movies because they love the experience of going to the movies. Movie attendance has been in a well-documented decline, due largely to less-frequent movie-goers who have been deterred by cost. Some industry experts predict that the ability for consumers to see movies at home the day they open in theaters would be a kill-shot for the cinema companies. Data we published in Variety this week say otherwise. People value movie-going for the ritual and the overall experience. You can simulate only so much of that on your couch.
And finally, yes, people do want to buy McDonald’s signature sauces at the grocery store. News came down this week that McDonald’s will soon begin selling their famous sauces in Canadian grocery stores later this spring. It looks like over 1/3 of U.S. adults would be at least somewhat interested in trying them. That’s a lot of people.
I’m working on a study about couples who are divided on Donald Trump. It’s fascinating. I’ll tell you all about it next week.
For now, be well.