Consumer Spending: The Watch Pot Isn't Boiling -- We all tend be such number junkies at times that we forget or ignore the concept of 'statistical significance'. Price indices rise slightly, savings dip, employment figures get skewed by temporary census taking job loss, spending rises ever so slightly and so on. Yet we crave the data no matter how absurd it may be to draw conclusions from it.
Citigroup's Bundle.com: A Spending and Saving Social Networking Site -- This past Sunday's New York Times Business Section claims that "A search of the database of the professional networking site LinkedIn found that more than 700 people listed their current job title as "chief innovation officer" and that nearly 25,000 had the word "innovation" in their job title." While this is not likely to have an impact on persistent unemployment, the article highlights -- among other individuals -- Chief Innovation Officer at Citigroup Deborah Hopkins' recent investment in "a social media start-up where users can compare their spending and saving habits with those of others."
What Are Consumers Spending Money On? -- Bundle is a new service that uses a node-based taxonomy metaphor to provide fast, simple visualization tools for exploring consumer spending habits all the way down to a zip-code level. It also allows for the comparison of different demographic data including age, income, and household. What is the percentage of income spent on electronics vs. restaurants? At which retailers do consumers spend most? What about transportation vs. house and home costs? How does healthcare stack up against charity?