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Economy Needs Consumers to Chip In

MarketWatch (07/14/14) Jeffry Bartash

Although the recession ended in mid-2009, consumers have been reluctant to spend, spending about two-thirds of what they used to, which has kept U.S. growth well below its historical norm. Small wage increases and a tepid labor market have contributed to the reluctance to spend.

As of May consumer spending was climbing at a 2.9% annual pace, the slowest rate in five years. “For the economy to really kick into the next gear, we need the consumer to do more of the heavy lifting,” says Ryan Sweet, senior economist at Moody’s Analytics.