Consumer News & Views
Published monthly
May, 2017

In this Issue…

  • Consumer Confidence Slips in April Despite Positive Economic Signs.
  • New Millennial Video from ACC: “Caring for Your Aging Parents.”
  • ACC’s Friend of the Consumer Award Recognizes Outstanding Businesses.
  • Apply for the 2017 Green CSM Certification Program.
  • ACC Annual Meeting Scheduled.

Consumer Confidence Slips in April Despite Positive Economic Signs.
Consumer confidence unexpectedly dipped from the preliminary reading in April, but remained at an elevated level, according to the University of Michigan. The consumer sentiment index has been higher than average since the US presidential election, and the final reading for April came in at 97.0. This was above March's final reading of 96.9, but below economists' expectations that the index would hold steady at its preliminary reading of 98.0.

Elena Holodny of Business Insider reported that there continues to be widespread agreement among consumers on their positive assessments of current economic conditions. However, the UMich survey has consistently shown a wide partisan divide regarding future economic prospects, although the gap is slowly narrowing.

Thomas Hinton, president of the non-profit American Consumers Council said, “Although there was a modest dip in consumer confidence, consumers remain positive about their economic prospects and employment opportunities.” Hinton added, “This should be a good economy for college graduates who are seeking higher paying jobs with healthy companies.” Hinton noted that the global market continues to be strong primarily based on the demand of American consumers.

"Selective perception of news is the driving force behind the partisan divide. Favorable economic developments were cited by nearly all Republicans in April, while three-quarters of Democrats reported hearing negative news about the economy," Richard Curtin, the survey's chief economist, said.

Interestingly, the expectations index for self-identified independents, who arguably might be less swayed by the red-versus-blue ideological lines, rose to 91.3 in April from 85.8 in March. Their pre-election reading in October was at 73.1.

"The level of optimism among Independents, who account for 42% of all consumers, points toward continued growth in consumer spending in 2017 at about a 2.5% pace," Curtin added. "Nonetheless, the partisan extremes will continue to add uncertainty and instability to consumer spending during the year ahead."

The Conference Board's confidence index came in at 120.3 for April, slightly below expectations of 122.5, and below the prior reading of 125.6.

Elena Holodny works at Business Insider covering economics, geopolitics and money markets. She can be reached at eholodny@BusinessInsider.com


New Millennial Video from ACC: “Caring for Your Aging Parents”
The American Consumer Council has released its latest video targeting Millennials. It’s entitled, “Caring for Your Aging Parents” and features finance expert and author Kim Curtis of the Wealth Legacy Institute. In this new video, Curtis shares four powerful tips Millennials should know about when it comes to caring for elderly loved ones including parents. Her tips include: (1) Keeping Good Data Records; (2) Living Arrangements for Elderly Parents; (3) Evaluate Parental Abilities including a Geriatric Assessment; (4) Ask for Help to Care for Aging Parents.

Ms. Curtis says the demands of caring for aging parents or other loved ones will take a toll on Millennials, but there are many resources available through local government agencies and non-profit organizations to ease the burden and cost of caring for your elderly loved ones.
To view the video, click on this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0WDDf295Kwc

Kim Curtis’ book, Money Secrets, is available through Amazon.com by clicking here.


ACC’s Friend of the Consumer Award Recognizes Outstanding Businesses.

Is your business consumer-friendly? Does your business deserve greater recognition for its service to consumers? If so, you should apply for the American Consumer Council’s Friend of the Consumer Award. Now is the time to apply!

Throughout the year, ACC presents its "Friend of the Consumer" Awards. This prestigious award recognizes manufacturers, retailers, and other businesses that produce or sell products in the United States that meet or exceed federally-mandated standards and are touted by consumers as “consumer friendly.”

Each year, ACC awards numerous "Friend of the Consumer" Awards to deserving companies and organizations because they have "demonstrated a commitment to American consumers by providing a specific product or service that fosters consumer confidence and market acceptance."

To apply for the "Friend of the Consumer" Award, complete the online application and return it to ACC with the application fee. Applicants will be notified within 5 days of receipt of their application. Thereafter, a panel of independent judges will review your application and make a formal recommendation within 20 days of receipt of your award application.

For more information, visit: http://www.americanconsumercouncil.org/awards.html


Green CSM Certification Accepting Applications for 2017 Summer Cycle:

If your company or organization would like to increase its credibility with consumers, you should consider applying for the Green CSM Certification. Applications for the 2017 Summer cycle are now being accepted through June 30, 2017.

It's a proven fact that consumers want to do business with companies that are eco-friendly and practice Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The process is straight-forward and all applicants are recognized by ACC and the Green USA Institute.

All applicants complete the criteria and submit their responses to ACC's Green Consumer Council for review, assessment and feedback. Program details and the Green CSM Certification criteria can be viewed at ACC's website located at: http://americanconsumercouncil.org/greenc.asp


ACC Annual Meeting Scheduled for Friday, June 16, 2017. The American Consumer Council will hold its annual membership and business meeting on Friday, June 16, 2017 at 10:00 am at The Lodge at Torrey Pines located in La Jolla, CA. The meeting is open to all members of ACC. For more information, please contact ACC’s meeting department at 1-800-544-0414.


The Lodge at Torrey Pines, La Jolla, CA