by Wolf Richter
Spending the same to end up getting less.
In all the hoopla about consumer spending – which accounts for about two-thirds of the US economy – and how lethargic its growth has been, despite some months when it perked up and gave rise to hopes that “escape velocity” would finally kick in, something got lost: how totally range-bound, for the past four years, discretionary spending has been.
This measure of discretionary spending excludes household bills and major items such as cars or homes. It hasn’t budged in dollar terms for four years, despite inflation eating into the purchasing power of the dollar.