Here is another article about things going on around Rochester. Enjoy!
According to the Rochester division of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court’s Western District of New York, bankruptcies in the area have fallen for the month of November and the entire year so far.
This year, the nine counties covering the Rochester division have seen a 16% decrease in filings from the same span last year. The first 11 months of 2013 saw 1,829 bankruptcy filings in the area; this year, that number shrank to 1,535.
For the month of November, the total number of filings in the Rochester area declined by 5.2% between last year and this year, with 134 cases last November 2013 to 127 in November 2014. That total includes 99 Chapter 7 cases, 27 Chapter 13s and just one Chapter 11.
Chapter 7 bankruptcies, which can apply to both individuals and businesses and take around six months to complete, help debtors liquidate their assets. This can be especially common among individuals who have credit card debt or other expenses brought on by extreme spending.
The decline may come as a surprise considering the holiday shopping season’s arrival on and after Thanksgiving. It turns out, however, that even Black Friday sales figures decreased this year, according to early figures from the National Retail Federation.
The NRF surveyed shoppers about their spending habits both online and in-stores and found that projected sales were around $50.9 billion total during the long holiday weekend. That number represents an 11% decline from last year’s figure of $57.4 billion spent in both brick-and-mortar and online retail businesses.
But analysts say that it might be too early to draw conclusions about declining consumer spending. Many of this year’s deals started before Thanksgiving, so some may not have felt the urge to shop on Black Friday (or Black Thursday).
Despite the early projections, the NRF still predicts a total of 4.1% growth for this year’s retail spending.
According to Jim O’Sullivan, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics, the NRF’s predictions aren’t always accurate, either, and survey results are often much higher than the amount truly spent over the holidays.
Finally, the NRF bases their numbers off of a survey, which asks respondents how much they spent based on memory rather than receipts.
Whether these national trends will indicate anything about Rochesterians’ spending is yet to be seen. Many may have also traded deals in the big box stores for more unique shopping experiences on Small Business Saturday.
Last year, small business spending throughout the holiday season by 71% of Americans totaled $5.7 billion; that number represents a smaller portion of the $616 billion spent last November and December. Last year’s holiday season online sales totaled $78.7 billion, according to Forrester Research.