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Economic Growth and a Respite for Chrome’s Cookies

Economists Weigh In on American Growth and Inflation

Headlines about the state of the American economy have been swinging between “doom and despair” and “things are looking up” for months. But the latest results from the Wall Street Journal’s quarterly economists’ survey revealed a more confident sentiment that our economy is indeed headed in the right direction. Despite federal interest rate increases, growth and job gains have continued to outpace expectations due to government spending, immigration, and a more optimistic workforce that feels secure enough to bolster consumer spending. As for inflation, most economists have predicted that federal efforts will eventually bring inflation rates down to their goal of 2%, and they now expect interest rates to end the year at 4.75% to achieve this.

The Changing Landscape of American Dealerships

Last year, General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis saw a decline in their dealership networks, Automotive News reports. Meanwhile, the number of dealerships selling only imported vehicles decreased, while dealerships selling exclusive import brands rose to 7,975 on January 1, 2024, up from 7,803 the previous year.

The Cookies Are Still Here… For Now

According to Google, the cookies are overcooked, but quite a few heavy-hitting organizations disagree.

In a blog post released on April 23, the tech giant announced a third delay in removing cookies from its flagship web browser. The company originally planned to phase out Chrome’s tracking technology during the third and fourth quarters of 2024. However, Marketing Dive states that the Privacy Sandbox meant to replace it was met with pushback from IAB Tech Lab, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), and several other U.K. regulatory bodies.  

Google’s Privacy Sandbox attempts to balance user privacy with a thriving online advertising ecosystem. The main concern of the CMA and other regulatory bodies is that the proposed replacement may have an anti-competitive nature that negatively impacts small businesses. Whether that’s true or not is yet to be seen, but the CMA’s demand for real market tests means the former pull-the-plug date on browser cookies is no longer viable. Now, Google hopes to finally lay them to rest during the first half of 2025.

Regardless of how Google’s plans play out, the Wild West era of unregulated user data is over. Most advertising experts, including Strong Automotive, advise marketers to continue developing their post-cookie plans because, eventually, web cookies will meet their end.

John Paul Strong

John Paul Strong combines his two decades of automotive marketing experience with a team of more than 150 professionals as owner and CEO of Strong Automotive.

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