The Shopping Forecast…

Ever wondered how your supermarket manages to have just the right amount of burgers available when it’s barbecue weather and warming soups when it’s chilly?

The answer lies in sensitive forecasting techniques that can predict in astonishing detail how what we buy will be affected by even minor changes in temperature.

For example, when the mercury rises from 68f to 75f (20c to 24c) then sales of hamburgers will increase by 42 per cent, according to research from Tesco.

Here is the shopping forecast: How supermarkets use weather predictions to decide what to stock“, Daily Mail, 16 August 2011

US Consumer Confidence Tumbles

Michigan Consumer Sentiment: A Stunning Setback

US Consumer Confidence Drops to Three-Decade Low Amid Economic Headwinds

Confidence among US consumers plunged in August 2011 to the lowest level since May 1980, adding to concern that weak employment gains and volatility in the stock market will prompt households to retrench.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary index of consumer sentiment slumped to 54.9 from 63.7 the prior month.

This backs up earlier evidence from the Pew Research Center that the US public’s current views of economic news are now as bleak as they were shortly before Barack Obama took office in January 2009. How will President Obama’s approval rating fare in the coming weeks?