Thursday, August 09, 2007

Anxiety Is Spreading

Consumers are pulling back on spending:

CHICAGO (MarketWatch) -- Retailers struggled to sell shirts, shorts and shoes in July as shoppers spent less while they grappled with economic anxieties and volatility that has rocked financial markets.

With nearly all of the nation's major retailers reporting sales results to the International Council of Shopping Centers, the cumulative gain stands at 2.6%, according to Thursday's data.

Analysts had been expecting that sales at stores open longer than a year, the industry's most important performance measure, would be weak, particularly among teen and women's-wear retailers.

But the early results suggest that consumers across the board are far more concerned about credit and financing woes sparked by the slowdown in the U.S. housing market and the collapse of the subprime mortgage business.

"I had thought that we'd have a number that was better than this," said ICSC chief economist Mike Niemira. "Certainly the macroeconomic slowdown that we've seen since last summer has taken its toll on consumer spending -- directly through the housing channel and indirectly through the home-value concerns."

Preznut Bush said today the economy is "strong."

It looks like many Americans do not feel the same way.

John Howard said our .25% rate rise was caused by the booming economy. Funny no one seems to be noticing that boom either.
Same here, cartledge - only the top 1% have enjoyed the boom. And yet, the preznut and many on Wall Street continue to say the fundamentals in the economy are good and we all should ignore the credit crunch, the volatile stock market, the insane level of housing prices, inflation in energy and food, ridiculous college costs, etc.
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