business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Washington Post reports that "across the country, there are signs that Americans are pulling back on restaurant outings, hotel stays and airline tickets, after months of exuberant consumption. Spending on a range of services, including international travel, taxi rides and clothing alterations, fell in April for this first time this year, according to federal data. People are also spending less on public transportation, child care and funerals.

"An emerging pullback would be welcome news for the Federal Reserve, which has been taking aggressive steps for over a year to slow the economy enough to bring down inflation. Much of that fight has been focused on curbing persistent price growth in services such as travel, transportation and restaurants.

"The central bank, which has raised borrowing costs by more than 5 percent, is widely expected to pause its aggressive interest-rate hikes when it meets Tuesday and Wednesday. Analysts expect the Fed to hold rates steady for the first time since March 2022."

KC's View:

In such cases, there is a big opportunity for food retailers to stress the availability and affordability of small luxuries that are available in America's supermarkets.  You may not be able to go to Italy, but delicacies from there can be had, and with them, a broadening of one's mind and palate.  You may not be able to go to a local restaurant, but foods and recipes can help people eat better, which can be one of life's great pleasures.  You may not be able to go to the Willamette Valley or Napa, but tastings and wine clubs can expand how people think about wine and what they buy.

This is a moment.  But you have to take advantage of it.

Say it with me now:

Compete is a verb.