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The monthly Retail Forward Future Spending Index suggests that consumers plan to up their spending habits this month, with the index reaching 104.9 compared to 98.7 in December 2004. Greater spending is anticipated in both Up Market and Down Market households, with Middle Market households expected to remain steady with last month’s spending.

"This month's results show that the late-holiday shopping momentum should extend into the New Year," said Steve Spiwak, economist with Retail Forward. "Rising incomes, the year-end spurt in the stock market, gift cards, and generous discounts are stoking spending plans this month, though a debt hangover from holiday spending could represent a modest drag."
KC's View:
Not surprisingly, Retail Forward also predicts that this increased spending power will benefit Wal-Mart. Which makes sense, because if people have money to spend – especially in Down Market households – the odds seem pretty good that they’ll be spending at least some of it with the Bentonville Behemoth.