Consumers spent more in January


Unfortunately, however, that trend is not expected to have legs as most citizens are putting cash away for what looks like a prolonged series of rainy days. The minisurge, which amounted to a gain of 0.6%, was the first uptick since May 2008, and came alongside an 0.4% uptick in personal income. The latter was credited to cost of living increases to social security recipients. The surge in spending was tied to a 1.3% increase in expenditures for nondurable goods, such as groceries, and did not come from increased business for manufacturers of big ticket items.

RBR/TVBR observation: We need to find a way to get cold hard cash flowing into the economy fast. Maybe we should use our bully pulpit to encourage consumers to take a chance and spend at least some money on items that may not be entirely essential, if only as an expression of patriotism. Such spending will help our friends and neighbors and ultimately ourselves.