Taking the Pulse of the U.S. Consumer

Garrett Nelson, Vice President of Equity Research
Arun Sundaram, CPA, CFA, Vice President of Equity Research
12 April 2023

Consumer spending has been more resilient than most expected, but how long this can continue is the million-dollar question as inflation remains elevated. In addition, the Fed continues to raise interest rates at the fastest pace in four decades. Moreover, consumer-facing companies have not faced a normal operating environment since the start of the pandemic, and while conditions are seemingly better today versus a year ago, recession risk is on everyone's mind. As a result, 2023 will likely have its own unique set of adversities.

In this webinar CFRA Vice Presidents of Equity Research Garrett Nelson and Arun Sundaram gave their outlook on the state of the U.S. consumer and discussed challenges posed by inflation and the Federal Reserve's rate hikes.

Garrett and Arun discussed the following:

  • The state of the U.S. consumer, looking at data such as retail sales, personal income, wage growth, savings rates, employment, consumer debt, sentiment/confidence, and more
  • Why consumer spending could be more resilient than many expect in the face of a difficult macro backdrop
  • CFRA's outlook for the Consumer Discretionary and Consumer Staples sectors.
  • Insight and analysis covering the two most prominent companies in the space: Amazon (AMZN) and Tesla (TSLA).


Garrett Nelson
Vice President of Equity Research
Garret Nelson is Vice President of Equity Research and is primarily responsible for coverage of the U.S. Automotive and Beverages industries. He covers the entire Auto supply chain from manufacturers such as Tesla, Ford, and GM to parts and equipment suppliers, retailers, dealerships, distributors, and tire manufacturers. Garrett also follows the Beverage and Tobacco industries, including Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Molson Coors, Constellation Brands, Altria, and Philip Morris.
Arun Sundaram, CPA, CFA
Vice President of Equity Research
Arun Sundaram is Vice President of Equity Research and primary covers big-box retailers (e.g., WMT, TGT, COST), food retailers (e.g., KR), discount retailers (e.g., DG, DLTR), internet retailers (e.g., AMZN, EBAY, ETSY, CHWY, W), and food manufacturers (e.g., KHC, GIS, MDLZ, HSY). Prior to CFRA, Arun worked in public accounting where he audited financial statements for public and private companies and performed due diligence services for companies pursuing M&A deals. Arun has a Master’s degree focused in Accounting and Information Systems from Virginia Tech and a Bachelor’s degree focused in Accounting from James Madison University. He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).


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