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Andrea Felsted

Good Times for the Consumer Economy Come to an End

Americans are reining in their spending. Is the shift away from pandemic habits to blame? Or is rising inflation really weighing on households?

Caught out.

Caught out.

Photographer: Apu Gomes/AFP

For the past year, pretty much every retail and consumer sector has been winning.

Stay-at-home trends hadn’t completely faded, so people were still spending on baking supplies and DIY tools. At the same time, cities and towns were opening back up, and shoppers were buying clothes and beauty products (teeth whiteners, anyone?) with a vengeance.