Weekly Wrap: Consumer spending, Spain

Kai Ryssdal Mar 30, 2012

John Carney from CNBC and Catherine Rampell of The New York Times discuss consumer spending and what’s going on in Europe this week.

On consumer spending numbers on the increase:

Catherine Rampell: I would say don’t hold your breath, for a number of reasons. The weather was unseasonably warm, so that could also have influenced things in that people were more likely to go shopping than stay holed up at home. And besides that, incomes were not up very much. They definitely disappointed. And it’s very hard to sustain consumer spending growth if people aren’t getting the money to pay for things.

John Carney: I actually think this might be sustainable. Wages are up, and people spend based on how much money they expect to have in the future. If they think they’re going to be prosperous, they’re willing to part with more of their cash now because they’re not sort of hoarding it to save it against getting unemployed in the future, not seeing that raise. So I think there’s a new confidence out there and I think we might see continued consumption growth.

For more analysis, listen to the audio above.

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