The $17 billion gift card addendum –about 8% of holiday sales — turns out not to cause a "January effect" as expected for the nation’s retailers after all.
So says the well regarded Sanford Bernstein Investment Research. "Although gift cards have been hailed for providing a "positive ‘January effect,’ actual results suggest this is more hype than help."
"Given a large percentage of gift cards are typically redeemed during the last week of December, the majority of the impact of an increased number of gift cards is to shift December sales from pre-Christmas to post-Christmas, not significantly impacting the overall monthly result," the broker said.
Furthermore, Bernstein said this year’s gift-card sales figures are going up against a tough comparison in the form of 2003′s strong results, meaning the overall effect will be nominal.
Holiday gift-card effect seen as limited
CBS MarketWatch.com, 9:54 AM ET Dec. 31, 2004
Welcome to the start of the New Year.
Lets start off on the right foot, with something incendiary and infuriating: The terrific John Crudele of the NY Post cuts thru the government obsfucations on the deficit: Beltway Bandits’ Storm: $615b Deficit Snow Job
December 28, 2004 — WHAT would you think if I told you that 2004′s federal budget deficit was really $615 billion, which is about 30 percent bigger than you’ve read in the newspapers? Now, what would you think if the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury told you this?
After you look at the government numbers I will present at the end of this column you’ll see that President Bush is absolutely correct in saying that the Social Security system’s finances need to be reformed immediately — although I disagree that privatization is the solution.
Two weeks ago, the U.S. Treasury posted on its Web site a financial statement for the country that was compiled in the same way companies are required to keep their books.