Ordinarily, low prices are a good thing, a harbinger of good deals. But when the price of almost everything drops at the same time, it’s a bad sign. That’s what happened last month when consumer prices in the U.S. dropped one percent. It might not sound like a lot, but it’s the most dramatic price dip on record for everything from food to fuel. Vendors are lowering their prices in reaction to a plunge in consumer confidence and, thus, spending. In America, where consumer spending accounts for two thirds of our economic activity, this is no small occurrence. Retailers in Oregon are already feeling the effects of this drop in spending.
Are your spending habits changing with the economic winds? What about your attitude towards consumerism in general? Do you think you will change anything about the way you or your family spends money this holiday season? And do you think any changes in your spending habits will outlast the economic downturn itself?
- Rebecca Lurie: Owner, Kush Hand-Knotted Carpets
- Scott Krugman: Vice President of Public Relations, National Retail Federation
- Arun Raha: Executive Director of the Washington Economic and Revenue Forecast Council
- Ranger Kidwell-Ross: Economist and researcher for THE GREAT PROSPERITY: 2020-2050, After the Death of the Consumer Economy
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OPB | April 16, 2015