: ‘We are seeing an increasing reliance on credit’: Consumers are worried about rising prices and a looming recession.

by | Oct 19, 2022 | Stock Market

The American consumer would like to know what’s next. Sales at retailers fell flat in September, the government said this month, a sign that the economy may slow in the coming months as consumers pull back on spending in the face of 40-year high inflation and the end of pandemic-era government stimulus programs. Retail sales, a major part of consumer spending, are closely watched as a sign of the mindset and financial health of consumers. They rose 8.2% on the year.

If people continue to tighten their purse strings into the holiday season, economists say it makes the prospect of a recession in 2022 even more likely. Retail sales were forecast to rise 0.3% in September, according to economists polled by The Wall Street Journal. Receipts increased by 0.3% if auto dealers are excluded. Automobile sales can skew the overall retail spending pattern. Americans, who are finally getting their groove back after two years of a global pandemic, are understandably nervous about the economy and their own finances. The fall in the stock market in 2022 took many people — and some analysts — by surprise, and jittery consumers are waiting for the other shoe to drop. With so many stressful events, more shoppers are sticking to essentials, economists say. Retail stores are obviously concerned about the holiday shopping season and the mindset of the U.S. consumer, and they are tempting holiday shoppers early this year, said Ted Rossman, Bankrate.com senior industry analyst. “Amazon
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