Even as evidence mounts that the Great Recession has finally released
its chokehold on the American economy, experts worry that the recovery
may be weak, stymied by consumers’ reluctance to spend.
Given that consumer spending has in recent years accounted for 70
percent of the nation’s economic activity, a marginal shrinking could
significantly depress demand for goods and services, discouraging
businesses from hiring more workers.
The Great Depression
imbued American life with an enduring spirit of thrift. The current
recession has perhaps proven wrenching enough to alter consumer tastes,
putting value in vogue.
“It’s simply less fun pulling up to the
stoplight in a Hummer than it used to be,” said Robert Barbera, chief
economist at the research and trading firm ITG. “It’s a change in