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How much are people in the mood to spend?

Dec 23, 2011
Consumer spending eeked up just 0.1 percent in November, despite stories of strong holiday sales. What does that mean about the health of our economy?

PODCAST: Who gets the big holiday tips, impact of the payroll tax cut extension

Dec 23, 2011
Congress has passed the payroll tax cut extension. We take a look at what the means for consumers. We have some numbers for you: Consumer spending grew just 0.1 percent in November, while orders for U.S. factory goods went up 3.8 percent. Plus, what is the most pessimistic country in the world? And find out which professions receive the biggest holiday tips.

Getting Personal: A look back over a long, hard year

Dec 23, 2011
A rare treat for listeners! Tess discusses the ins and outs of 2011 with all four of our regulars, Chris Farrell, Kathy Kristof, David Lazarus and Liz Weston.

What's on the menu for next year?

Dec 21, 2011
Tess talks with David Lazarus, Kathy Kristof, Liz Weston and Chris Farrell about what we might be able to expect in 2012.
iStockphoto

Americans purchase more even as net worth shrinks

Dec 9, 2011
From July to September, American families purchased more, even as their net worth shrank faster than it has at any time since the worst of the financial crisis.

The argument against thrift

Nov 25, 2011
Author James Livingston discusses why he's against thriftiness, and how more spending would benefit our economy and souls.
A man swipes his credit card. In a new book, author James Livingston argues that consumer culture is good for the economy, the environment, and your soul.
Franko Lee/AFP/Getty Images

To buy or not to buy refurbished?

Nov 17, 2011
Marketplace's Nancy Marshall-Genzer looks at the pros and cons of buying refurbished items, as she shops for a new (or refurbished) phone.

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High oil prices could hurt consumer spending

Nov 16, 2011
Consumer sentiment and spending numbers have been inching higher in the last few weeks. But the ongoing high price of oil could put a cap on that growth.

Retail analysts say consumers are dipping into savings

Nov 15, 2011
NPD Group analyst Marshall Cohen says if debt deal isn't reached, consumers could pull back because of "distractions." But consumers will shop early -- and online.

Suffering from discount fatigue

Sep 16, 2011
With a plethora of deals websites like Groupon out there, it's possible you may never have to pay full price for anything again. But comedian Kristina Wong is tired of all the discounts.