June 27, 2011

RECOVERY BUMMER (CONT’D): Americans Spend At Weakest Pace In Nearly Two Years. “Americans spent at the weakest pace in 20 months, a sign that high gas prices are taking a toll on the economy. Consumer spending was unchanged in May, the Commerce Department said Monday. That was the worst result since September 2009. And when adjusted for inflation, spending actually dropped 0.1 percent. April’s consumer spending figures were revised to show a similar decline when adjusting for inflation. It marked the first decline in inflation-adjusted spending since January 2010.”

Plus this: “Neil Dutta, an economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, pointed out that inflation-adjusted, after-tax income is now slightly lower than it was in January.” Can you say stagflation?

And a reader points out that the word “unexpectedly” appears nowhere in this story.

UPDATE: Reader Antoinette Aubert writes:

I realize it is a cliche for a woman to say she has nothing to wear; but I have literally only bought one new item of apparel for myself in the past three years. I had a pair of shorts that was more patches than original cloth, so I determined I had to buy some new ones. But after three years of mall avoidance I found the idea of going to one to be impossibly fatiguing. So I checked Overstock and Landsend clearance and bought myself some new shorts for about $10 each.

But of course since I was online I just typed in women’s shorts and that’s all I bought. If I had been at a mall I would have found a cute top and an adorable little skirt and etc.etc. My shopping habits have been completely altered, and I think its a good thing.

The truth is my house losing 1/3 of its value almost overnight has turned me into a cheapskate. And I like it. Maybe there’s a song in that.

I think this may be a trend.

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