The difference between the NBER defined recession and the Main St economy has seldom been greater. The consumer is in a double dip or one long recession.
The aggregate severity of the 2010 consumer contraction has exceeded that of 2008. The projection is that 2010 will be more than 50% worse than 2008.
Fear, uncertainty and doubt (“FUD”) in any form increases cautious behavior, and in the case of consumers that might just reinforce new-found habits of frugality.
Consumer discretionary spending is showing negative growth worse than the depths of The Great Recession. Other components of GDP are degrading as well.