In a prescient online piece last week, CNN reported that U.S. consumers are no longer spending like drunken sailors. This morning, we got the numbers to back up that assertion.
Gone, it seems, are the halcyon days of February, when retailers could count on U.S. consumers outspending any increase in their salaries by a factor of 10. For three months running, we've kept a tight rein on our wallets. We're still increasing spending, but much less swiftly than our income has grown:
But can you blame us? The rate of increase in paycheck-size has been dwindling, too. Industrial leaders such as Caterpillar
The trouble with sober sailors
CNN may fret, but I believe that consumers' penny-pinching is a logical reaction.
I know that with back-to-school season in full swing, merchants like OfficeMax
Why, then, are so many successful companies on Wall Street sitting on their own piles of cash right now? Apple
That's my take on BEA's latest facts and figures. What do you think? Share your opinion in the comment box below.
Wal-Mart is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick, and Apple is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation, but Fool contributor Rich Smith does not own shares of any company named above. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.