People aren't spending money like before
American consumers aren't spending with the gusto you'd expect, what with U.S. unemployment plumbing a 16-year low of 4.3%, wages ticking up, and the stock market hitting record highs, Barron's columnist Kopin Tan writes in "The Surprising Threat to the American Economy":
The problem: "Real U.S. personal spending is growing at about 2.6% year over year, when it should be closer to 4%, given the much-ballyhooed global recovery."
The reason: "Our attitude toward spending and debt has changed, as well, and the bursting of the housing bubble has deflated our love of conspicuous consumption. Families are saving more, despite being penalized for saving by zero interest rates."