retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Chicago Tribune carries the results of an Associated Press survey of 44 leading economists, revealing that two thirds of them believe that “the recession created a ‘new frugality’ among consumers that will outlive the recession.” This isn’t just people who lost their jobs - it is people with steady incomes, moderate to low debt, but who remain cautious about spending because of recent events.

According to the story, “To be sure, many shoppers, especially the wealthy, are buying into the recovery. Partly on the strength of consumer spending, the economy emerged from recession last year and has been growing steadily, if moderately, since. Major retailers logged solid sales in March. Employers have begun to add jobs, including a net increase of 162,000 in March. The stock market has risen 70 percent from its low in March 2009.

“Yet many who became penny-pinchers during the recession are in no mood to start shopping again with abandon for clothes, cars and home additions. They've discovered the peace of mind that comes with rebuilding savings, shopping more prudently and learning to live with less.”
KC's View:
No surprise here. Just more anecdotal evidence that the world has changed and the repercussions continue.