Consumers spent only slight more this August than last, reflecting fears that the hoped-for economic recovery might still be a ways off, the AP reports.
Citing the latest MasterCard Spending Pulse survey, the numbers confirm what many retailers had been talking about: back-to-school spending was off, and might be a portent of a slack holiday season.
“SpendingPulse’s figures show shoppers spent more on children’s clothing and consumer electronics than last August,” the AP says. “But they pulled back on most other merchandise, including women’s and men’s fashions and luxury goods. In fact, spending in August on many types of nonessentials remained about where it was five years ago.”