The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Local Business

July 7, 2013

'Big Joe' Clark: Consumer needs, wants and requirements

(Continued)

The average car on the road is over 11 years old. That is much longer than the normal age of the street fleet but less than it was in 2012. Purchases are picking up and that is very good for the economy. Auto sales are one of the largest leaders of complimentary consumer spending. Complimentary meaning that when you spend one dollar you are compelled to spend others.

You can buy a dinner at a nice restaurant and be done with it. You can see a movie and go home. With a car you must buy tires, windows, engines and even gas. They prepackage many of the parts obviously but your purchase impacts many parts of our economy. This is why auto sales and home building are so critical and discussed constantly. One dollar spent in those areas represents many more that will need to be spent going forward.

Economic extremes create many consumer spending distortions. Pay attention to the trends of wants, needs and requirements and make your investments accordingly. As always, things do change and they will do so again.

Joseph “Big Joe” Clark, whose column is published Sundays, is a certified financial planner. He can be reached at bigjoe@yourlifeafterwork.com or 640-1524.

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