Yesterday, I reported on a new study that showed even a big drop in gasoline prices has not made consumers more comfortable with spending on discretionary items. The issue is not so much whether you think gasoline below $2 a gallon is cheap, but whether you feel like you really can open your wallet for things you might not need in these uncertain times.
There's a comfort in holding onto your cash right now. But from a more macro view, it's important what we consumers think and do. The U.S. economy depends on the consumer to keep it going. So does the global economy. In fact, the American consumer is estimated to account for about 20 percent of global GDP.
Below are some thoughts from our readers, and please take the time to tell us what you think.
From Dave J.:
Gas is not cheap.......................It may be cheaper but it is not cheap..............The run up in Energy has pissed off the consumer and rightfully so......................Fix the Futures Market so this Bubble does not happen again..
From Dennis L.:
"Cheap gas...people have been scared and they are paying down debt. "
And from Utpal J. in India:
"It's a structural problem and one that respects psychology and behavior much more than mere cash in hand. Humans are not electric switches which can be turned on and off.
Besides the havoc that has happened will make US to curb their useless expenditure. and will also force the corporat(ion)s to become lean.
The percentage of margin which US corporat(ion)s make is not sustainable nor is available anywhere in this world except Europe and Japan.
World will not lend to US nor US consumer will borrow mindlessly. This will result in great savings and this savings will be deployed in countries which can generate better sustainable return.
The world will see contraction in value terms for years to come ; even if it makes up with quantity in two or three year."
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