Personal Consumption Expenditures Are Still To High

Posted By on September 18, 2010

Gary Shilling

In terms of spending and saving, note that whatever has been going on in the consumer arena has been supported by massive federal stimuli. Those stimuli may persist at near current levels in future years due to chronic high unemployment, as noted in earlier Insights, but seems unlikely to rise at the rates they did since the recession began due to their effects on the already massive federal deficits. Republicans and even some Democrats in Congress are so worried about the mushrooming deficit that current stimuli is unlikely to be renewed at least until unemployment leaps further. In that case, the resulting withdrawal of support for consumer outlays may push them down. So the leap in consumer spending as a share of personal income (Chart 7 ), which has been propelled by tax cuts that were only partially offset by saving increases, is highly unlikely to persist.


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