Consumers’ long-term view provides little economic support

A recent article published in (7/11/12) by editor-in-Chief Tim Triplett offered some insight into both the manufacturing sector and the spending habits of consumers this year. According to current economic outlook, manufacturing is expected to carry the day – and ultimately the year – as consumers continue to hold onto their income despite incentives to spend.

In fact, according to the University of Michigan, consumer sentiment continues to hover near its all-time low. Survey Director Richard Curtin explained that the problem has to do with the way government looks at the future, vs. the way consumers do. While government tends to take a more short-term view of the economy and plan their stimulus accordingly, consumers are now taking a more long-term view, seeing the current recession not as a temporary inconvenience but rather as a possibly permanent downturn. As Metal Center News reports in its recent interview with Curtin:

Asked about their financial prospects for the year ahead, just one in five households anticipated any improvement. “The financial optimism that has been the hallmark of American consumers has disappeared in the past four years due to bleak income and job expectations,” Curtin said.

Consumers nowadays are also more cautious about where they put their faith – and they have in large part lost faith in the government and its fiscal policies. Jobs losses remain a hot topic, and while the government can point out the 2.2M jobs created in the past couple of years, consumers are more inclined to focus on the 6.5M jobs lost. The overall mindset points to saving, rather than spending, and it doesn’t look like it will change in the coming months -or possibly even in the coming years.

Given these disappointing consumer sentiments, it appears that manufacturing is once again leading the way this year, hopefully adding slight improvements to the economy by the end of 2012.

Read’s article by By Tim Triplett, Editor-in-Chief:

Manufacturing, Not Consumers, Likely to Continue Leading the Way


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