One third to get coal in Christmas stockings?

tn_money_tree5.jpg Lotsa cash but in fewer hands

The Conference Board offers the good news-bad news view of the year-end spending season opens today (my host left the house at zero-dark-thirty to wait in line for the second to last of 26 half-priced flat panel TVs). Here is the gist of the Conference Board report:

“About 73 million US households now have discretionary income, up from about 57 million in 2002 . . . (t)he proportion of the US population with discretionary income has increased to nearly 64%, up from 52% in 2002 . . . While the percentage of households with discretionary income has risen over the past several years, purchasing power remains concentrated in the wallets of the affluent,” said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center . . . “

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In other money news, another sober take on ad revenues from the Newpaper Association of America, which told Media Post that “online operations grew 21% in the third quarter to $773 million . . .  (and)now account for 7.1% of total advertising revenue in the newspaper industry–up from 5.4% in the third quarter of 2006 . . .  (but that) . . . was more than offset by a substantial 7.4% drop in overall ad revenue during the third quarter, to $10.9 billion”