Consumer Sector
  We are honored to have won the National Association For Business Economics award for the most accurate forecast for the 2019 Q3 to 2020 Q2 period, a time that included the Covid-19 shutdown. We previously won the award for the 12 months ending 2002 Q2, which encompassed the 911 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. These honors confirm our consumer-centric approach to analyzing the U.S. economy.

Most economists treat the consumer as a residual even while acknowledging that consumer spending drives the economy. We have dedicated our careers to understanding those factors affecting consumer behavior, including demographics, sentiment, employment & income, debt, behavior and more. Starting with the consumer, we can then work back to other factors, such as production, inventories and investment to develop an outlook that is consistent. We spend considerable time understanding where we are, which needs to be known in order to forecast where we will be.

Our winning forecasts of the 911 and Coronavirus periods were not based on "inside information" but rather a deep understanding of consumer behavior and what the economic picture looked like before the events. Think about it...all the forecasts were made before the disasters struck. It's almost like these cataclysmic events didn't matter (from an economic perspective), but they did. What most forecasters failed to understand were the forces acting on consumers before the disruptions. Consumers are not a residual, they are the main event, and they deserve our full attention.

I have been meaning to write you for the last few weeks and thank you for all the excellent research you have sent me over the last year...

All of this brings me to my point: Your research continues to be outstanding. Your methodology is time tested and produces truly independent research that is both insightful and more often than not accurate.

Hard to believe that we have been “working together” for more than 20 years! I think this is a record for a research product keeping my attention. I love the narrative of a 13d like product, but sooner or later one realizes this type of research is “lite” on facts and heavy on opinion!

-- O. Leonard Darling, Retired
Former Chief Investment Officer, Oppenheimer Funds

Many of our clients in the financial services industry previously eschewed economics. But they see the value of our approach for asset allocation and even securities selection. We are proud that the manager of the best performing mutual fund in 2020 Q2 is one of our clients. Corporations use our research for short and long term planning.

See below for a more extensive look at our methodology, descriptions of our written research and samples. To learn more, call us at 203-869-9667.
  We specialize in understanding, interpreting, forecasting and communicating clearly about the consumer sector of the U.S. economy. Information on the consumer sector is invaluable to fixed income as well as equity managers, strategists, hedge funds and corporations.

Our approach is unique: Instead of working from the top down, we forecast from the bottom up. We very thoroughly and conscientiously examine every nook and cranny of the consumer sector so we understand it better than anyone else. We research company information as well as macro economic data, and we track the industrial sector as well as world trends. We then communicate in a form you can understand that is appropriate for the task you are trying to accomplish.

You need to know this information for a simple reason: the consumer accounts for over two-thirds of domestic U.S. economic activity. Add housing, which we consider a consumer item, and you've got 75%. The truth is, those who focus mostly on industrial production, exports, and whatnots are missing a major piece of the picture. In order to make an informed decision about anything sensitive to the economy you have to understand the consumer. And our goal is to assist our clients to make informed decisions.
  Our focus has helped Economic Analysis Associates become Wall Street's foremost organization providing research on the consumer sector of the economy and related securities to the investment community and to corporations.

Our forecasts have been recognized for their accuracy, including accurate T-bill and Treasury bond rate forecasts, and best overall forecast, including interest rates and GDP. While these accolades may not recur often (remember, most economists aren't even right once), they confirm the value added of our consumer-based approach.

  We provide coverage of all the important areas, including but not limited to:
• employment,
• income & spending
• housing & construction
• confidence
• saving, credit & debt
• taxes
• regional trends
• inflation
• interest rates
• demographics
• autos
• cycles
• revisions
• more

  Detailed coverage means economic information you can integrate with your investment philosophy, bounce off your analyst or company, test your thought pattern, challenge the consensus. This information can help you make a decision.


(1) Written research reports. Written material is purposely brief, to the point, understandable and relevant. We publish three on a regular basis:

The monthly Consumer Monitor deals with issues which are, or will be, of interest to our clients, especially topics that are or will soon become important to the decision making process. Current consumer behavior is analyzed and explained and issues relevant to the outlook are discussed. Read a recent Consumer Monitor.

Momentum Charts tracks unit, price and nominal sales in approximately 140 areas of consumer spending. This is an excellent indicator of shifts in final demand that will affect company performance. Extensive inflation information is of value to bond as well as equity investors. Quarterly chart book, monthly fax. Read a Best of Momentum summary or look at some detail.

(2) Faxes. We still call them Faxes but they are actually pdf files delivered via e-mail. Our faxes typically consist of six charts, are usually about a page in length, and are designed to provide quick enlightenment. We fax when relevant information is at hand, usually weekly. Download a sample FAX.

(3) The telephone. We're here to take your calls.

(4) Conference Calls. We can prepare a special handout covering your specific interests. Of course, we're here to answer your questions. View a Hand Out.

(5) The Internet. Our entire research archive is available. Weekly faxes and the Consumer Monitor are delivered by email.

  The real key to our service is personal contact. It is our policy to be available to answer your questions at any time and respond quickly to special requests. We find that the longer we work with a client the better able we are to tailor our service to your particular needs -- something we are willing and anxious to do.

  SUSAN M. STERNE -- President & Chief Economist

Mrs. Sterne's founded Economic Analysis associates in 1979. Prior to that she was with various Wall Street houses including Goldman, Sachs, Cyrus J. Lawrence and Salomon Brothers where she was vice president in charge of all consumer research. Mrs. Sterne began publishing the monthly Consumer Monitor in 1975 while working as an economist in the research department of Faulkner, Dawkins & Sullivan. She has served as an advisor to the U.S. Department of Commerce and is a member of a number of professional organizations including The Conference of Business Economists, and the National Association for Business Economics.

LAWRENCE J. STERNE -- Director of Research

Mr. Sterne's joined Economic Analysis Associates in 1983. Previously, he was vice president of Chemical Bank in New York, and has also worked for Cyrus J. Lawrence, Reyonolds Securities and The Northern Trust Company. As securities analyst, Mr. Sterne covered a broad cross-section of industries, consumer as well as industrial. In the early 1980's he was named the second most knowledgeable buy-side paper & forest products analyst in an Institutional Investor poll of the sell side.
  Lawrence J. Sterne
Telephone: (203) 869-9667
Economic Analysis Associates, Inc
5 Glen Court
Greenwich, Connecticut 06830-4505
Download a sample FAX

5 Glen Court, Greenwich, CT 06830-4505
Tel: (203) 869-9667 • Fax: (203) 869-9549

A Chris Southern Consulting website.