With the price of gas reaching a record high of $5 a gallon, consumers have become more conscientious about reeling in unnecessary spending. According to data released today by the Commerce Department, retail spending on all goods excluding gas declined by .3 percentage points between April and May. Electronics and appliance sales, which are looked upon by many consumers as being non-essential purchases, have been hit harder than the overall market, dropping by 1.3 percent. This dynamic has also been compounded by a transition in spending from goods to services as many Americans resume in-person activities such as travel and dining out.
Moreover, businesses are struggling to move product off of shelves with the inventory value of retailers outside of the auto industry increasing by 1.7 percent on a monthly basis. This worrisome dynamic for retailers coincides with a plummet in consumer confidence. According to a survey conducted by the University of Michigan, consumer sentiment, which measures how far consumers expect their money to go, has dropped by 41.3 percent in the past year.
In some news from the whackier side of consumer technology, Nothing -yes that is actually the name of the company- has released images teasing out the Nothing Phone 1, which is set to hit the market on July 12. The company has also revealed that the Phone 1 will be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset. The design team for the phone, which features a transparent back cover, is led by former Dyson designer Adam Bates.
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