We’re only about a month away from the start of the holiday season and there’s more uncertainty and economic pessimism in the air than I can recall over the past decade that I’ve covered ecommerce.

Just consider:

  • The personal saving rate rose to an average 8.2% in the first seven months of 2019, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. That’s higher than the average for any full year since 2012 as consumers are saving rather than spending.
  • Confidence among top CEOs earlier last month had the biggest quarter-over-quarter drop in seven years, according to a Business Roundtable survey.
  • U.S. consumer confidence in September posted the biggest drop since the start of the year, as Americans’ expectations for the economy and the job market deteriorated, posing a risk to the household spending that has been underpinning growth, according to the Conference Board.

Meanwhile, the ongoing trade war with China is expected to cost the average U.S. family $460 this year, according to a recent analysis by the economists at University College London and the London School of Economics. That isn’t surprising given that 24% of retailers in an exclusive Internet Retailer/Bizrate Insights survey plan…

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