Post Archive

Will Consumers Power our Economic Engine in 2012?

Consumers are an integral cog in the American economic engine, but since the financial crisis hit its crescendo, consumers have been under high attack. By most traditional measures, the economy is larger today than any time in our history, but it is hard to argue that consumers are feeling the benefits of that expansion. That…

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Consumers Decide Enough is Enough

Questions about why the recovery is so slow have cropped up lately.  Economists and strategists alike are baffled by the sluggish nature of this recovery, particularly considering our previous experiences after deep recessions.  The answer this time around may be very simple – consumers are unable or unwilling to leverage their personal balance sheets –…

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Some Economic Improvement

Consumer data entered the fray last week to mixed results.  Personal income was up 0.3% in May, but concerns about the stagnating recovery resulted in no gains to personal spending.  With income and spending little changed, the personal savings rate also held steady at 5.0%.  The personal savings rate spiked in 2009, but fell after…

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The Incredibly Resilient American Consumer

One of the most disheartening aspects of the past several years was the abysmal state of consumer finances heading into the recession.  In the first quarter of 2008, the personal savings rate was a meager 0.8% of disposable income and household liabilities as a share of disposable income reached an astounding 130%.  Levels that severe…

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