Consumers Finally Sound the Retreat

It took layoffs, terrorists, and war talk to make Americans curtail spending. Now, the economy's future may be decided on the battlefield

It isn't surprising, in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, but it's disheartening nonetheless: After nearly a year of energetic buying that kept the economy from dipping into a recession, the relentlessly confident American consumer is in retreat.

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.