Just in case you were feeling too cheery today, Gallup reports Consumer Spending Across All Income Groups Down in August:
Americans' self-reported average daily spending in stores, restaurants, gas stations, and online averaged $63 per day during August -- down $5 from July, and down $2 compared with August 2009. Consumer discretionary year-over-year spending is thus running just slightly below the depressed "new normal" rate of a year ago.
Despite the victory in the presidential election who would appear to be ideologically very comfortable in a Democratic Socialist party were he a European, please note what a disaster things have been for what should be his core constituency:
Middle- and lower-income Americans spent an average of $54 per day during August -- down from $64 in July and $62 in June, and lower than the $57 seen in August 2009. Americans in these income groups had been spending at the higher end of last year's "new normal" range of $52 to $61 but are now back to the lower end of that range.
Matters were no better in early September:
This year's somewhat disappointing back-to-school spending has been followed by few added expenditures for Labor Day. Consumer spending for the week before Labor Day averaged $61 per day -- the same as during the prior week, and down from a $70 average during the same week in 2009.
What Gallup does not say is that in the first part of 2008, discretionary spending was well over $100/day.
This is consistent with a modern-day depression.
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