Worldwide spending habits adjusted in wake of recession

Consumer spending habits immediately changed once the recession hit With the onset of the Great Recession during 2008, consumers around the world were quick to become frugal in their shopping as a means to consolidate debt, even if they didn’t necessarily cut down on how much they shopped.

According to a recently released study by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu on the worldwide economic prospects during the fiscal year of 2008, the survey found that two-thirds of the 184 retailers surveyed said their net profits had declined.

Additionally, 30 retailers went further to say they had been operating at a loss during the time period.

However, the study also found that, despite the recession, retailers had been able to increase their sales figures by 5.5 percent during the same time period.

Dr. Ira Kalish, Director of Consumer Business for Deloitte Research in the United States, said the reason for the contradicting figures was because of many retailers’ decision to "buy" sales by offering deep discounts that ended up cutting into their profits.

"However, we are already seeing evidence that as economic recovery takes hold around the world retailers should be able to return to a path of improving profitability," he added.

The survey also found that only one of the top five retailers during the fiscal year was based in the U.S. Walmart ranked first with more than $401.2 billion in retail sales. The next U.S. retailer was The Kroger Company in sixth place with $76 billion in sales.