Inflation and Economic ChangesTrend: Fluctuations in the economy may have a strong effect on Axe as well as the behavior of their consumers. For instance, the Consumer Price Index—the government’s average estimate price of goods and services purchased by the consumer—“rose 2.7 percent during 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.”1This increase in CPI is the result of higher gas and food prices. As consumer prices heighten, so does unemployment. In fact, according to the Labor Department, “unemployment rose in 30 states,”2 which proves “that jobs remain scarce in most regions of the country.”2Despite these massive negative upsurges, the Consumer Confidence Index—“the degree of optimism consumers feel about the economy based on their savings and spending”3—increased “from 70.3 to 75.6, the highest level since December 2007.”3On another positive note, the Commerce Department reports the measure of economic activity—the Gross Domestic Product—“expanded in the last quarter of 2009 at a pace of 5.7
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