»PHOTOS: Luxury Spanish Revival home on market in Kettering
In general, Ohio has added jobs, raised wages and seen stable household debt ratios; consumer confidence and inflation has also remained stable, said Megan Heare, a research associate with the University of Cincinnati’s Economics Center. As households have felt more secure, retail sales have increased throughout the year.
“(President Donald Trump) is making things a little bit easier for the consumer,” said Dayton-area shopper Sandra Berger, who was looking for holiday decor Wednesday. “I do think that spending will be a little bit higher.”
But while stable, consumer confidence has dropped over the last year with uncertainty surrounding impeachment and tariffs, Heare said. Interest rate cuts this year are also likely to boost inflation and wages aren’t growing as quickly as other parts of the country, she said.
»RELATED: Stores offer deals earlier to attract holiday shoppers
GDP growth in Ohio this year was lower than across the country and Ohio’s biggest cities — Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland, which make up more than half of the state’s holiday sales — are expecting spending declines, Heare said.
“Compared to the national economy, the Ohio economy is mute,” Heare said.
That’s evident in Ohio’s 0.8% growth that pales in comparison to the expected 3.8 to 4.2% growth nationally. On average, a U.S. shopper is expected to spend close to $1,048 during the holiday season.
Smaller metros like Dayton, Youngstown, Toledo, Akron and Lima are helping make up for the big city losses, said Christopher Nicak, co-director of research at the UC Economics Center.
“When you have a community like Dayton that has a low-cost of doing business and a low-cost of living, it allows you to spend more money on the things you want,” Kershner said. “We certainly have an economy that gives people the opportunity to be able to spend more on some of those purchases.”
»BIZ BEAT: Chick-Fil-A closes at Dayton Airport, leaders look to fill space
Increased spending in Dayton is a major benefit, not just to retailers, but back to the customers, Kershner said.
“When you have increased spending in a community with local companies, that money stays local,” he said. “It helps benefit local employers; it helps benefit local employees; it helps provide for families. The more that consumers can do to keep that spend local certainly matters for the economic health of the community.
E-commerce sales have continued to grow, now making up about 10% of purchases, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That growth is outpacing total retail sales, but tax revenues in Ohio are continuing to rise from the online purchases, according to the study.
“With the convenience of being able to purchase any time anywhere online…we do expect retail to be impacting our growth more in the future than it has in the past,” Nicak said.
FIVE FAST READS
• Kroger unveils new logo
• PHOTOS: Luxury home with Yankee Trace Golf Course view on market
•Local thrift store closing at end of the month
• Here’s the Thanksgiving and Black Friday hours for 2 dozen area stores
• Dayton to Punta Gorda flight to relaunch Thursday