Friday, March 30, 2012
Why save when one can spend (and, more importantly, why save when one has ZIRP)? This appears to have been the motto of American consumers in the past three months when the US Savings rate has plunged from 4.7% in December to a tiny 3.7% in February: the lowest since December 2007’s 2.6%, and just as the recession and the market crash was about to send everyone scrambling for the safety of bank savings. The reason: in February personal spending soared by 0.8% on expectations of a 0.6% rise, while incomes barely rose by 0.2% on a consensus rise of 0.4%. Which means the balance had to be savings funded. So even as we have seen retail weakness in the past three months, we now know that it was not only credit funded, but also forced US consumers to burn through their meager savings. And all thisbefore the gasoline price shock hit. The question then is: with the remainder of US savings about to be tapped out on gasoline purchases, just where will the money come to fund all those priced in NEW iPad acquisitions? Or will Apple finally use up its cash hoard and start a captive lending unit, giving consumers credit to purchase its products? At the rate the US consumer is going broke it may soon have no other option.
This article was posted: Friday, March 30, 2012 at 9:00 am