When strolling down the store aisles, shoppers might forget how all those products arrived on at their final destination on shelves, ready for the plucking. Many times it’s truckers that get the bottles of beer on the wall and the newest gadgets in stock, but what happens when there aren’t enough drivers to go around? Prices for consumers an go up, a new report says. [More]
We’ve been toting quite a heavy load, economically speaking but it appears that for the average U.S. family, the debt burden has been lightened to where it was before the recession. That means that all of the unwieldy home mortgage debt, credit card debt and other debt loads have been trimmed down, making us more aerodynamic as we try to speed toward economic recovery.
We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again — the economy gets a big boost when we consumers are out spending our hard-earned money on stuff. So when we hear that spending is up, the first reaction is “Yay!” But this latest uptick in spending seems to be mainly because gas is so gosh darn expensive, not because we’re making any more money at work. Blurgh.
The good news is we’re having a nice little boost in income, according to a government report, but we’re not taking that cash and spending it in stores. Perhaps we’re still a bit nervous about splashing out and spoiling ourselves in light of all the economic anxieties facing consumers out there. And we get it — the thought of buying a new computer makes me a lot more nervous than having to constantly perform technological CPR on an ancient one.
Although there are signs of hope for the economy as American incomes were up by the most they have been in nine months, the fact that we’re also keeping our spending exactly the same isn’t so great.
We’re all a bunch of optimistic Spendy McSpendersons lately, according to a new survey that says consumer sentiment is remaining high in the new year. As more jobs are being created, consumers have lifted their collective spirits for the fifth consecutive month.
No pressure, but it’s all up to consumers to heat up the U.S. economy which will then help the rest of the world out as well. Unfortunately, we’re all acting a bit sluggish still in our spending.
Even though they haven’t been making any additional money for the past three months, consumer spending ticked up 0.6% in September. Are people spending more because they feel that the low interest rates they get from the bank make it less valuable to save?
A 0.8% increase in consumer spending may not seem like something to throw a parade over. And really, it’s not. But it is the largest gain in 18 months and the first increase of any sort since April, so it’s a reason to not frown.
When consumer spending stalls it’s bad for the economy — but on the other hand it seems that people are saving money and paying down debt.
We keep hearing that the recession is over, but every new consumer survey seems to confirm one thing: With unemployment rates high and home values low, most consumers aren’t exactly in a rush to open their wallets again. And according to one new survey, many of you are even embarrassed about the way you used to spend, comparing those days to “some of the crazy things you did in high school or college.”
You already have a budget, you just probably haven’t seen it turned into a colorful graphic before. Here’s one that illustrates where all the money goes. Sadly, we spend about three times as much on tobacco as on reading, and yet almost nothing on strippers! (Unless that falls under “entertainment.”)
If you’re looking for a photograph to illustrate how our economy has changed over the past few months, take a look at this. No, that’s not a parking lot in a town where everyone has the same taste. It’s the Port of Long Beach, where “thousands of cars worth tens of millions of dollars are being warehoused,” unwanted by the dealers who used to sell them. They’re imports — Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, and Nissan orphans.
Today Best Buy announced that it was officially freaking out about the current financial meltdown: “In 42 years of retailing, we’ve never seen such difficult times for the consumer,” Brian Dunn, president and chief operating officer of Best Buy, said in a statement. “People are making dramatic changes in how much they spend, and we’re not immune from those forces.” A Best Buy employee forwarded us an email that went out to all associates this morning — stressing that a renewed commitment to customer service was the way forward during these troubled times.
Consumer spending is down and credit card defaults are up!
Consumer spending, the engine that powers our economy, is probably going to shrink for the first time in nearly two decades, says the NYT — a move that will “all but guarantee” that the current economic crisis will deepen.
There are mounting anecdotal signs that beginning in December Americans cut back significantly on personal consumption, which accounts for 70 percent of the economy.