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Consumer Spending

NEWS
By DAN RODRICKS | November 18, 2008
So let me see if I understand this: We're supposed to go shopping for the good of the country. We don't have a president standing on the rubble of the American economy saying as much this time, but that's the message again. If, this holiday season, we don't buy electronics we don't need, if we don't buy new cars instead of fixing old ones, then this whole thing is going to fall apart, and we'll be in for a much longer, colder recessionary winter than already feared. That's what I'm getting from Washington and the Democrats' push for a new stimulus package of as much as $100 billion to consumers.
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BUSINESS
By Lorraine Mirabella and Lorraine Mirabella,lorraine.mirabella@baltsun.com | November 15, 2008
As a government report showed yesterday that sales at the nation's retailers plunged to record lows in October, employees at Lauman's Home Furnishings in Perry Hall prepared to shut down for good. Sales at the 27-year-old furniture store on Belair Road slowed during the past year after customers lost jobs, were turned down for credit or put off buying new sofas, chairs and other furnishings amid the housing slump. But in the past two months, "It just really went beyond slow, and what else do you do?"
BUSINESS
By Jay Hancock and Jay Hancock,jay.hancock@baltsun.com | August 24, 2008
Nationwide consumer spending fell in June, adjusted for inflation. Many economists expect the same for July when the numbers come in. This is the first time consumer spending has fallen since the early 1990s. Research by Rockville-based ChangeWave gives a vivid look at what's going on. The firm surveyed more than 4,000 people and concluded that Washington's $150 billion fiscal stimulus isn't having the hoped-for effect. Here are a few responses. Maybe you'll get some ideas. * "I've quit eating steak, lobster, and expensive Tex-Mex.
BUSINESS
By Jennifer Waters and Jennifer Waters,MarketWatch | August 3, 2008
CHICAGO - The sharp paring of consumer spending is about to cut into its next victim: back-to-school sales. Consumers beaten down by prices at grocery stores and gas stations are taking their newfound money-saving ways to the shopping centers and school-supplies stores in what promises to be one of the most challenging back-to-school seasons in many years. "This year's back-to-school season, without question, is continued belt-tightening as the consumer tries to stretch the dollar as far as possible," said Thom Blischok, president of IRI Consulting and Innovating.
BUSINESS
By Randi F. Marshall and Randi F. Marshall,Newsday | July 20, 2008
Where will the money come from? Gas and food prices are rising, mortgage interest rates are adjusting higher, loans are harder to find and unemployment is ticking up. There's only one place left to turn, many consumers believe: credit cards. Now, instead of using cards for large items such as a plasma television or new furniture, many people are charging gasoline, milk, food and even, in some cases, other bills, experts said. And many of them are only making the minimum payment on each card - if they can afford even that.
NEWS
By Meredith Cohn and Meredith Cohn,SUN REPORTER | December 12, 2007
The end of the year is approaching and that means one thing for the upscale eyewear shop Paris West Optical on Charles Street: sales. It's not the typical rush to buy holiday gifts, but it is a rush to spend. Customers need to empty their flexible spending accounts, the pre-tax pot of money they set aside through their employers to pay for health care needs not covered by their insurance. The money can be used for such things as dental visits, over-the-counter drugs - and glasses, which are pitched by retailers as a seasonal present to oneself rather than an account-draining binge on less appealing medicine cabinet should-haves.
NEWS
By Peter Morici | December 2, 2007
Recessions are not inevitable adjustments built into the clockwork of a modern economy. Businesses no longer make products on long lead times and stumble into excess inventories of cars and appliances, triggering layoffs and pauses in consumer spending. Computer-aided supply-chain management and tracking of customer purchases allow businesses to better align what they make to what can be sold. However, recessions still happen, because of external shocks - natural disasters and political events - as well as errors of judgment and greed.
BUSINESS
By James P. Miller and James P. Miller,Chicago Tribune | July 28, 2007
The nation's economy shook off its recent torpor to grow at a solid 3.4 percent annual pace in the second quarter, the government reported yesterday, as improving business investment and higher exports worked to offset a sharp slowdown in consumer spending. The Commerce Department's report on gross domestic product modestly topped the 3.2 percent most economists had been expecting, and it was also the best performance since the first quarter of 2006, when the economy was riding the final months of the boom in the housing industry.
NEWS
By LISA ANDERSON and LISA ANDERSON,CHICAGO TRIBUNE | June 25, 2006
NEW YORK -- Gas prices might be up. The stock market might be down. Job security might seem an illusion and there's not an iPod in every pocket. But according to the government, American families have never earned more income, spent less on necessities or enjoyed a higher standard of living than they do right now. That information comes from a new longitudinal study by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which, for the first time, examines a century instead...
BUSINESS
By ANDREA K. WALKER AND TYEESHA DIXON and ANDREA K. WALKER AND TYEESHA DIXON,SUN REPORTERS | June 1, 2006
While perusing shirts at The Gap in the Inner Harbor yesterday, Jener Crisolo, a nurse, dismissed larger concerns about the economy. People need new "gear," especially in the summer, he reasoned. "You have to buy something," he said. "I think others have slowed down because of the [economic] situation, but for me, I buy what I want," said Crisolo, 35, of Baltimore. Today, Federal Reserve officials, who set interest rate policy, corporate planners who assemble billion-dollar budgets and other economists will be trying to glean whether in the near-term consumers like Crisolo represent the exception or the rule.
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