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August 17, 2012 – Retail sales and consumer optimism are two of the most important factors in judging where the economy is headed, says NFIB’s chief economist in Your Bottom Line With Bill Dunkelberg.
"Consumers are 70% of the economy, so if they're not spending, the economy isn’t doing very well," Dunkelberg said.
Commerce Department data released August 14, showed retail sales rising by .8 percent in July – the first increase in four months.
Dunkelberg said consumer optimism is tied to things such as tax policy and the cost of gasoline, pointing to more signs of trouble as gas prices have risen steeply in recent weeks. The University of Michigan survey of consumer sentiment fell to its lowest level in six months in July.
NFIB's web series Your Bottom Line With Bill Dunkelberg helps small business owners learn more about what drives the economy and how economic issues affect their businesses. William Dunkelberg, NFIB's chief economist and one of the nation's top experts on small business, entrepreneurship, consumer behavior and consumer credit policy, hosts the series.
NFIB is the nation's leading small business association, with offices in Washington, D.C., and all 50 state capitals. Founded in 1943 as a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, NFIB gives small and independent business owners a voice in shaping the public policy issues that affect their business. NFIB’s powerful network of grassroots activists send their views directly to state and federal lawmakers through a unique member-only ballot, thus playing a critical role in supporting America’s free enterprise system. NFIB’s mission is to promote and protect the right of members to own, operate and grow their businesses. For more information visit www.nfib.com.
William C. Dunkelberg has been chief economist for NFIB since 1971. He is currently professor of Economics at the School of Business and Management, Temple University, and served as dean from 1987-94. He was director of the Center for the Advancement and Study of Entrepreneurship from 1991-94.
Dunkelberg is a nationally recognized authority on small business, entrepreneurship, consumer behavior and consumer credit policy. He has been an advisor to cabinet officers, a member of the Consumer Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve System and is a past president of the National Association of Business Economists. He has chaired the Census Advisory Committee and is an elected member of the Conference of Business Economists and the National Economic Issues Council. He is also a frequent contributor to broadcast and cable news programs and is often quoted in leading newspapers and magazines.
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