NPD also tracks what consumers usually look for when they do read the Nutrition Facts label. According to NPD’s Dieting Monitor, which examines top-of-mind dieting and nutrition-related issues facing consumers, the top five items consumers who read the label look for are, in consecutive order, calories, total fat, sugar, sodium and calories from fat.
“It’s a safe bet that Americans now want more information, but be careful, there are always new issues that come up every few years,” said Balzer. “If the Nutrition Facts label is to continue to educate, it should allow for changes more often than once every 20 years. For example, gluten, probiotics and omega-3 were not on the radar screen 20 years ago.”
February Credit Managers' Index slides
The nation's Credit Managers’ Index (CMI) remains on a roller coaster: After improving in January, the February index returned to lower December levels, according to the National Association of Credit Management (NACM).
Prior to its December drop, the CMI had been improving since July 2013, but the sense at the end of last year was that the economy was stalling in the middle of the holiday spending season. A month later the January index bounced back to levels not seen in over two years, suggesting recovery had finally arrived and accompanied by some expectations of more consistent growth through the rest of 2014. But February's reading indicates those expectations might've been incorrect, or at least premature, according to NACM economist Chris Kuehl, PhD.
THE CMI monitors "positive" and “negative” factors in U.S. manufacturing and service sectors. Positive factors include sales, new credit applications and amount of credit extended. Negative factors include rejections of credit applications, accounts placed for collection, and dollar amount beyond terms.
Both favorable and unfavorable factors stumbled in February, with the declines within these broader measures pretty much across the board.
"The sense is that slow growth is starting to have an impact on the survival of business and some of that is to be expected, especially in the retail sector," Kuehl said. "The holiday season was not very robust and for companies that rely on those last months of the year, this can be the difference between staying open another year and giving up. As the economy slogs along, it is producing a growing number of businesses no longer positioned for survival."
For a full breakdown of the manufacturing and service sectors, in addition to tables and graphs, view the complete February CMI online.
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