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Kimberly Amadeo

Consumer Spending Means No New Recession

By August 29, 2011

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July's .8% increase in consumer spending buoyed Wall Street, calming fears of a double-dip recession. As expected, auto sales surged as parts became available again after the Japanese earthquake slowed auto sales in May. The U.S. Commerce Dept report looked even better when adjusted for inflation, making it the best report in 18 months.

It's like I've been saying all along -- the economy is recovering, just very slowly.

The problem with this type of growth is that it's not enough to create new jobs. Sure, it's much better than a recession, but it doesn't really help the unemployed. Expect this Friday's unemployment report to reflect that.

The result is an ever-increasing disconnect between Wall Street and Washington on the one hand, and Main Street on the other. Main Street doesn't care about the debt ceiling, which Congress focused on for months. Most people are not as concerned about health care reform, which Obama focused on early in office.

Americans right now are interested in two things. One is getting a better job, or one full-time job, or even any job. The other is seeing the value of their home increase, or not losing their home. Washington has not kept their eye on those two balls.

Wall Street has been bailed out, thanks to the U.S. taxpayer, and our financial system is still running. We aren't in another Great Depression. HOWEVER, now it's time for corporate America to share the love, and use that cash they've been hoarding to start hiring again.

More and more, readers of this site are expressing their frustration with Wall Street and Main Street. A recent poll showed that half of Americans believe another Great Depression is coming, if not already underway. What do you think?

Your Opinion Matters

(Photo Credit: Chris Hondros/Getty Images

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