Though the weather is getting nicer (in most parts of the country), consumer electronics retailers’ outlook on the industry took a bit of a stumble as the calendar flips to May. After going relatively unchanged from March to April, the Dealerscope CE Retail Confidence Index fell off by nearly 10 points in the latest survey, coming in at 188.69. That’s the second-lowest confidence score to-date.
The dip in confidence is a bit of a surprise looking back at comments from the previous month’s survey. Retailers last month were greatly anticipating the start of the late-Spring early-Summer months, saying that business usually picks up as the weather gets nicer. But now that we’ve arrived at nicer weather, consumers just aren’t coming out in droves like retailers expect them too. A vast majority of responses in the latest DS Index report fed off of the same theme: dwindling foot traffic.
That trend was corroborated by the recent U.S. economic performance report, which showed that the economy grew just 0.7 percent during the first quarter of 2017—the slowest growth in nearly three years. Partly to blame was consumer spending, which increased just 0.3 percent during the quarter, due to a bump in inflation, delayed tax returns, and an overall meh feeling about shopping.