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Consumer Spending Hits Three-Year March Low For Average Americans

In “sad but true” news, we recently reported that even as wage growth for 80% of America’s workforce has sputtered and stalled, there’s never been a better time to be a “supervisor”: 

With more than three quarters of US workers trapped in what we will call “wage growth hell,” and whose only chance at seeing a pay hike appears to rest on holding out for a promotion that’s probably not forthcoming, it doesn’t exactly come as a surprise that self-reported consumer spending hit a three-year low for March last month and has trended sharply lower this year when compared to 2014.

Of course those with higher incomes hiked their spending by 75% more than those with middle- and lower-incomes. Here’s more via Gallup:

Average self-reports of spending in March increased by $7 among upper-income Americans -- those with annual household incomes of $90,000 a year or more -- to reach $144. Among middle- and lower-income Americans, those with incomes that are less than $90,000, spending increased by $4 from February to reach $75 in March.


The broad trend shows spending recovering after reaching lows during the Great Recession and its aftermath, but for the first months of 2015, spending has been lower than it was for most months last year. 


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And with March's NFP report casting considerable doubt on the viability of the "waiter and bartender" recovery which, as WSJ will tell you, has been a veritable linchpin for the US economy, we're not extremely optimistic about the propensity for the middle class to ramp up their spending habits going forward.