Downside pressure on prices has only begun
You've heard (and probably used) the phrase, "I'd rather watch the game on television."
It's what a sports fan says if he doesn't want to face traffic jams, inadequate parking, overpriced tickets, noisy crowds, and possibly a poor view of the game.
These days, however, something else is keeping professional football fans at home: deflation.
Since the economic slowdown that started in 2007, fewer people are willing to fork over money to attend games. In turn, NFL teams are forced to play defense with ticket prices.
A Sept. 10 Yahoo Finance article points out that "10 teams lowered ticket prices this year," and that, "average ticket prices to attend [an Atlanta] Falcons home game are down 8.1% this season. This is the biggest drop among the 30 NFL cities."
Overall, NFL attendance has dropped 4.5% since 2007.
The article goes on to say: "It's telling us that the overall economy still isn't as strong as it was back in 2007 ... . It's also telling us that the upper-end consumer is still retrenching, they're still pulling back. They haven't felt the burst of either better employment numbers or better income and they're actually attending fewer games."
A weak economy leading to lower game attendance leading to lower ticket prices is a "domino effect" -- and it says plenty about how deflation works in the larger economy.
The psychological aspect of deflation and depression cannot be overstated. When the social mood trend changes from optimism to pessimism, creditors, debtors, producers and consumers change their primary orientation from expansion to conservation. As creditors become more conservative, they slow their lending. As debtors and potential debtors become more conservative, they borrow less or not at all. As producers become more conservative, they reduce expansion plans. As consumers become more conservative, they save more and spend less. These behaviors reduce the "velocity" of money, i.e., the speed with which it circulates to make purchases, thus putting downside pressure on prices. [emphasis added] These forces reverse the former trend.
Conquer the Crash, second edition, p. 91
Even so, many observers say the economy is past due for a recovery. They promote this view despite the evidence, which points to the new deflationary trend.
Most economists are unwilling to abandon the growth consensus, but the reality of an economic contraction is starting to become unmistakable.
The Elliott Wave Financial Forecast, August 2012
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This article was syndicated by Elliott Wave International and was originally published under the headline Pro Football Plays Defense Against Deflation. EWI is the world's largest market forecasting firm. Its staff of full-time analysts led by Chartered Market Technician Robert Prechter provides 24-hour-a-day market analysis to institutional and private investors around the world.