The Washington Independent

Posts Tagged consumer spending

Are Homeowners Really Skipping Out on Their Mortgages to Spend at the Mall?

By | 05.04.10 | 6:00 am

The case is now famous. The homeowner had applied for the Home Affordable Mortgage Program, or HAMP, an Obama administration initiative to give distressed and tapped-out borrowers lower monthly payments. Applicants are meant to be just scraping by — they have to file hardship affidavits and the government presumes More…

Consumption Outpaces Income Growth

By | 05.03.10 | 11:48 am

This morning, the Commerce Department released its latest set of data on income and consumption. The good news? They are both growing — Americans are earning more, and spending more. The bad news? Consumption is growing faster than income, and Americans are saving less to fuel their purchases.

But More…

Strategic Defaulters Are Not Mortgage ‘Deadbeats’

By | 04.23.10 | 5:01 pm

Bloomberg News’ Caroline Baum has a tart piece on strategic defaults and consumer spending — invoking the theory, first put forward by HousingWire’s Paul Jackson, that underwater homeowners are purposefully defaulting on their mortgages and using the funds to buy regular goods. That would explain why consumer spending More…

Are Homeowners Walking Away From Their Mortgages and Into the Mall?

By | 04.15.10 | 1:10 pm

Blogging at Naked Capitalism, Edward Harrison provides a persuasive argument for why retail sales and consumption are increasing, despite persistent joblessness and a lack of income growth. He posits that homeowners in foreclosure or struggling with mortgage payments are deciding to stop sending checks to the bank, letting their More…

Small Businesses Still Ailing

By | 04.13.10 | 10:57 am

The National Federation of Independent Business — the small-business lobbying organization — reports that small-business optimism declined in February. Small businesses reported smaller workforces and continued price cutting, among other sluggish stats. This chart encapsulates the continued bad times:

The Nothing-Led Recovery

By | 04.12.10 | 1:25 pm

This morning, Wells Fargo released its weekly dispatch of economic and financial analysis, providing an outlook based on the latest jobs, consumer spending, housing and interest rate figures. The report confirmed the growing consensus that the worst is behind the U.S. economy and the chance of a double-dip recession More…

This Month’s Economic Update: Inflation Up, Income Holds

By | 03.29.10 | 4:04 pm

In this month’s trickle of economic data comes a little good news for the market, even if it’s perhaps not great news for people’s bank accounts: Consumer spending was up even as incomes were flat in February. Spending wasn’t up by much — just .3 percent — but More…

Teaching Financial Literacy in a Credit Card Nation

By | 11.13.09 | 10:28 am

The subprime crisis certainly highlighted the need for American consumers to become more financially literate. But who defines financial literacy? And what makes someone an expert? Mike Konczal at Rortybomb asks these and other questions regarding financial literacy education — a subject TWI has also been looking into More…

The Recession Hits Where It Hurts: Higher Prices for Beer and Steaks

By | 08.26.09 | 9:28 am

Joe Weisenthal at Clusterstock finds that inflation will soon hit home for some, with price hikes on the horizon from beer manufacturers and cattle farmers. First, Weisenthal cites a Los Angeles Times story explaining that brewers are being affected by increases in commodity prices, leading them to the More…