Despite tax hike, US consumers keep spending, thanks to cheaper gas, rising wealth, low rates

  • Article by: CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER , Associated Press
  • Updated: April 29, 2013 - 11:29 AM

WASHINGTON - This year got off to a sour start for U.S. workers: Their pay, already gasping to keep pace with inflation, was suddenly shrunk by a Social Security tax increase.

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workerbeezApr. 29, 1310:55 AM

The next paragraph is so full of baloney I thought it must have been written by PRAVDA or The Onion: "Consumers have shed debt. Rising home values restored household wealth to its pre-recession high. And employers are steadily adding jobs, which means more people have money to spend." It might be coming but not here yet Dreamers!

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dtmonkeyboyApr. 29, 1311:31 AM

workerbeez...independent surveys by non-profit consumer organizations and credit card companies are saying that debt is indeed down. And, it is a fact that both the stock market and home prices have risen substantially. Also, in MN the number of unemployed has fallen and new jobless claims were at at pre-2008 level last year. Facts are facts.

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pitythefoolsApr. 29, 1311:52 AM

workerbeez: "Consumers have shed debt. Rising home values restored household wealth to its pre-recession high. And employers are steadily adding jobs, which means more people have money to spend."

While I agree that things are slowly getting better, I have to wonder what backs this statement up. Most stocks are not owned by the middle class anymore, they have not benefitted from the rising stock market as have the wealthy. If your house is worth 25% less than it was in 2008 and it's now up 10%, you're still backwards. 1 in 5 mortgages are still under water. Jobs are growing, but long-term unemployment expecially amongst those over 50 is at an historical high. This article is a tad over-reaching.

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member11Apr. 29, 13 2:06 PM

It takes a long time turn a ship the size of the U.S.S. America around, slowly but surely progress is being made. This is occurring despite the level-best efforts of the Group Of Pretenders.

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wesley173Apr. 29, 13 3:23 PM

"Rising home values and record stock prices have restored household wealth to its pre-recession high."

More agitprop from the AP Obama. Household wealth is nowhere near it's pre-recession high.

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wesley173Apr. 29, 13 3:28 PM

From an article in the Stribe 2 days ago titled, "Experts describe long-term joblessness as a national emergency."

"The labor force participation rate is the lowest in 35 years, and the figure of about 11.7 million Americans officially out of work doesn’t capture the fact that 102 million working-age Americans don’t have jobs — about 41.5 percent of all potentially available workers, said Keith Hall, who until last year was the commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics."

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theruntApr. 29, 13 7:00 PM

Much happier now than during recession, when my hours were cut. Things seem to be improving, but the big banks are still really big and doing scary things.

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ciamanApr. 29, 13 7:23 PM

Excellent wesley173~it could not have been said better. I would love to have a chat with the A/P writer and get some truth. Lacking that, here is what I see: 1. The average Household income in 2008 was 56,000.00 income. After 2008 crash, and as of now, the average HH (household) income is now $45,000.00! What? Something is wrong and something stinks. If the household income has tumbled so far then how can everyone still be spending? 2. The numbers being presented here by the A/P writer is, in my opinion, hogwash. The Star/Tribune gave us some numbers last week that showed that the top one percent of the rich are now doing 35 percent of all the spending. Can you take that, folks? That leaves only 65 percent for the rest of us to do the spending. Great to be a former middle class person. Passe, people. 3. Of all the homes being sold are now over 30 percent of people whom are buying homes to turn around and then sell. They are investors. Put a minimum of money to make them sellable! What to want to buy one of those homes? Come one writer, come down from your clouds and meet us face to face.

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