(Thank God Benji is our designated driver! -AM)
By Mike Dorning
Americans plan to refrain from boosting their spending even after the biggest drop in consumption since 1980, signaling concern about the direction of the economy over the next six months.
(All hands ... stalling speed! -AM)
Only 8 percent of U.S. adults plan to increase household spending, almost one-third will spend less, and 58 percent expect to “stay the course,” a Bloomberg News poll showed. More than 3 in 4 said they reduced spending in the past year.
Respondents were divided over whether the economy will get better or stay the same in the next six months; only 1 in 6 said things will get worse. More than 40 percent of those surveyed said they feel less financially secure than they did when President Barack Obama took office in January, outnumbering 35 percent who said they feel more secure.
Wall Street faces a more hostile public as Obama presses for new financial regulations. Half of the Americans surveyed have an unfavorable view of Wall Street, versus 31 percent with favorable views.
Three out of four Americans support government-imposed limits on executive pay at companies that haven’t repaid government bailout money, the poll shows.
(Repaying government bailout money means that the banksters are solvent again yeah! Get folks to ask the wrong questions and you don't have to worry about their answers.-AM)
While banks and financial companies are lobbying to kill Obama’s proposal to establish a Consumer Financial Protection Agency, 56 percent of Americans support the idea, with 31 percent of the poll respondents opposed.
Underscoring consumers’ austere attitudes, 77 percent of respondents said they have cut back on spending during the past year, 59 percent said they have made a bigger effort to pay off debts and 48 percent have put more money aside as savings.
Consumer spending dropped in four of the past six quarters, and is down 1.9 percent from its peak in July-to-September 2007, the biggest retrenchment since 1980.
(However, there are signs of improvement, cautious optimism, a bottoming process,a slower rate of decrease, and glimpses of recovery don't you know.-AM)
Because consumer spending accounted for 70 percent of the American economy since 2001, the speed and strength of a recovery may depend on how quickly Americans loosen their purse strings.
(May? I guess Bloomberg wants to hedge reality with upcoming government reporting. You're more miserable than we say you are? Prove it 'cause we got your stats right here. -AM)
Retail sales in August surged 2.7 percent, the largest monthly jump in three years, fueled in part by the government’s “cash-for-clunkers” auto-purchase program. August sales also probably benefited from sales-tax holidays that some areas offered back-to-school shoppers and may not signal a turning point, said Louis Crandall, chief economist at Wrightson ICAP LLC, a Jersey City, New Jersey-based research firm.
(Perhaps it did signal a turning point ... a complete and utter disregard of any fundamentals because this time it is different, 2003 on crank, the new paradigm of holding hands with the Federales. -AM)
“There are lots of reasons to expect consumer spending to remain soft,” Crandall said, citing rising unemployment and drops in home values and household wealth.
By 62-34 percent, Americans said high unemployment is a greater danger than inflation over the next two years.
(Dear Federales , you better ratchet up them communications if you wish to drag the leash of well anchored expectations past the deflationary beast . Reckon that y'all better be fixin' to make sure equities never go down. Ya hear? -AM)