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Consumers are spending, but still skittish

Nancy Marshall-Genzer Dec 19, 2011

Jeremy Hobson: Well with just a few shopping days left before Christmas, we’ve got a report out this morning on just how consumers are feeling about the economy.

Marketplace’s Nancy Marshall-Genzer has the details.

Nancy Marshall Genzer: The headline on the report sounds good: “Americans’ Financial Security Rebounds.” Bankrate senior financial analyst Greg McBride is pretty excited.

Greg McBride: Americans’ feelings of financial security rebounded during the month of November to the highest level we’ve seen since June.

But the rebound just brings us back to the same level of job security Americans felt a year ago.

This is what qualifies as good news these days. Joel Naroff of Naroff Economic Advisers has learned to lower his expectations. He’s not getting too excited about a bump-up in holiday spending.

Joel Naroff: While I don’t expect consumers to go out and shop ’til they drop, if they shop ’til they’re tired, that’s pretty good.

But when they wake up with a credit card hangover after New Year’s, it’s all over, with skittish consumers not willing to commit to spending until the job market gets a lot better.

In Washington, I’m Nancy Marshall-Genzer for Marketplace.

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