Everything seemed to shoot higher – from COVID-19 cases and vaccinations to economic growth and global stock markets. Everything except for optimism. As the year came to an end, a CBS News poll found that 40 percent of Americans felt 2021 was mostly filled with sadness, although almost three out of four people polled said they were hopeful for 2022.
As we head into the new year, let’s a look back at 2021.
United Arab Emirates led the way with 99 percent of the nation’s population vaccinated. Nigeria lagged with about 95 percent of the population unvaccinated. More than 61 percent of Americans were fully vaccinated, and another 12 percent were partially vaccinated, according to Our World in Data.
In December, however, optimism moved sharply higher “…primarily due to significant gains among households with incomes in the bottom third of the distribution. Indeed, the bottom third expected their incomes to rise during the year ahead by 2.8%, up from 1.8% last December,” reported Richard Curtin, the University of Michigan’s Surveys of Consumers chief economist. That’s the biggest gain in 22 years.
It has been an honor to work with you during 2021. We look forward to seeing you in the new year!
If there was a spectrum that reflected the value and longevity of everything we owned, consumables (coffee and cell phones) might be at one end, durables (automobiles and appliances) in the middle, and items with enduring value (homes and collectibles) on the other end, according to The Economist.
Clothing might belong on different parts of the spectrum. Everyday socks might be on one end while Audrey Hepburn’s little black dress from Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Neil Armstrong’s Apollo 11 spacesuit ranged toward the other end.
Currently, people spend less on clothes, overall, but buy more than they once did. Often, items are worn a few times and then discarded. As a result, the fashion industry has a sustainability problem. The Economist reported:
“…industry studies reckon that clothing manufacture and distribution account for between 2% and 8% of global carbon emissions. The fashion industry probably emits more carbon than aviation (3% of emissions) or shipping (2%).”
With consumers prioritizing sustainability, fashion has begun to change. More people are cleaning out their closets and selling clothing online, according to the 2021 Resale Report. As a result, the resale clothing marketplace is expected to double, reaching $77 billion, during the next five years.
That may be the tip of the iceberg. Thirty-six billion pieces of clothing are thrown out by Americans each year, and estimates suggest that 95 percent could be recycled or reused.
“Hope Smiles from the threshold of the year to come, Whispering ‘it will be happier’...”
—Alfred Lord Tennyson, poet ________________
https://www.barrons.com/articles/stock-market-2021-51640910494?refsec=up-and-down-wall-street (or go to https://resources.carsongroup.com/hubfs/WMC-Source/2022/01-03-22_Barrons_The%20Stock%20Market%20Had%20a%20Wonderful%20year.%20Too%20Bad%20No%20One%20Enjoyed%20It_4.pdf)
https://www.barrons.com/articles/us-economy-stock-market-history-51640204442 (or go to https://resources.carsongroup.com/hubfs/WMC-Source/2022/01-03-22_Barrons_Lesson%20of%20the%20Century%20Dont%20Underestimate%20the%20Resilience%20of%20the%20U.S.%20Economy_5.pdf)
https://www.economist.com/finance-and-economics/2021/12/18/after-a-shocker-in-2021-where-might-inflation-go-in-2022 (or go to https://resources.carsongroup.com/hubfs/WMC-Source/2022/01-03-22_The%20Economist_After%20a%20Shocker%20in%202021%20Where%20Might%20Inflation%20Go%20in%202022_6.pdf)
http://www.sca.isr.umich.edu (or go to https://resources.carsongroup.com/hubfs/WMC-Source/2022/01-03-22_Survey%20of%20Consumers%20Final%20Results%20for%20December%202021_9.pdf)
https://www.factset.com/hubfs/Website/Resources%20Section/Research%20Desk/Earnings%20Insight/EarningsInsight_121721A.pdf (or go to https://resources.carsongroup.com/hubfs/WMC-Source/2022/01-03-22_The%20Economist_Xi%20Jinpings%20Crackdown%20on%20Chinese%20Tech%20Firms%20Will%20Continue_13.pdf)
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-12-26/global-bond-winners-for-2021-all-came-from-emerging-markets (or go to https://resources.carsongroup.com/hubfs/WMC-Source/2022/01-03-22_Bloomberg_Global%20Bond%20Winners%20for%202021%20All%20Came%20from%20Emerging%20Markets_14.pdf)
https://www.economist.com/christmas-specials/2021/12/18/fashion-as-an-asset-class (or go to https://resources.carsongroup.com/hubfs/WMC-Source/2022/01-03-22_The%20Economist_Fashion%20as%20an%20Asset%20Class_15.pdf)