business news in context, analysis with attitude

…with brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

• The National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) is out with its monthly survey, revealing that “a turbulent stock market compounded with a 9-cent increase in gas prices lowered February consumer economic optimism by 5 percentage points to 60%—the lowest consumer economic optimism reported in the past six months. The previous low (54%) was in September 2017 when Hurricane Harvey shut down one third of the country’s refining capacity and gas prices surged 28 cents in a single week.”

While the survey concluded that a majority of consumers are aware of increased gas prices, “one in four drivers (24%) say they will drive more over the coming month, which is up five percentage points compared to one year ago (19%, February 2017). Younger consumers ages 18 to 34 are most likely to drive more in the coming month (39%).

“Though consumers say they are likely to drive more over the coming month, they may not be spending more on typical household purchases (22% say they will spend less versus 19% of those who say they will spend more), or eating more meals outside the home (32% say they will dine out less versus 19% of those who say they will dine out more).”

• Yesterday we reported on how KFC has had to close more than half of its UK stores because of a chicken shortage. Such supply chain problems, apparently, can happen to anyone.

In New York, the Daily News reports that the bar at Broadway’s Marquis Theatre last Friday night ran out of Triple Sec, which meant that it had to stop selling margaritas.

Which was sort of a big deal, because it was the first preview performance of the musical “Escape to Margaritaville,” the jukebox musical based on the songs and stories of Jimmy Buffett. It was also a big deal in another way - the Nederlander Organization, which owns the Marquis and eight other Broadway theaters, said that last Friday night’s bar sales were the highest on a single night in the company’s 100+ year history.

We’re going on March 30. I hope they stock up.
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