Consumers are still feeling the effects of “Great Recession,” as labor markets have been slow to heal and economic growth continues to slow to a degree greater than many anticipated.
Although the recession may technically have ended over a year ago, consumers certainly don’t feel that way.
Consumers clearly remain skittish, likely due in part to the degree of attention given to the risk of a double-dip recession in recent months.
Much like the unemployment rate, consumer confidence has been stuck in a sub-par range even as the economic recovery unfolded. At this point, there appears to be few sources of consistently good news to embolden consumers.
Until there is meaningful improvement in labor markets and greater certainty that a double-dip recession will be averted and growth will re-accelerate, it seems highly unlikely that the sullen mood of consumers will be lifted.
The bottom line is that consumers believe that jobs are still hard to come by and that the outlook for improvement in job growth in the next few quarters remains grim.