Where Have All the Consumers Gone?

Consumers aren't opening their pocketbooks because wages remain low, companies continue to cut labor costs, home prices are still below their pre-recession peak, baby boomers need to bolster retirement accounts and, most ominously, deflationary expectations may have taken hold.

Just looking, thanks.

Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg

Retail sales rose less than expected in March after declining for three consecutive months. Since the U.S. began collecting data in 1967, only twice has it seen three-month stretches of waning retail sales in non-recessionary times. 

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