"In January, the savings rate went from 2.5% to 3.2% in one month – a massive increase...Total retail numbers have done nothing but go down. We've seen the biggest increase in food and energy outlays since 2011, accounting for 30% of the increase in consumer spending in the past six months, up from 11% in the two years prior. Consumers have had to draw down whatever savings they amassed after the crisis and run up credit-card debt to keep up with the basic necessities of life."After the crisis, total savings rose from $440 billion to $1.4 trillion. Now it's back to $400 billion. Consumers have basically taken every penny they socked away and spent it."
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Bill Bonner is founder and owner of Agora Inc., one of America's largest consumer newsletter publishers. Best-selling author and globe-trotting correspondent since 1999 for the Daily Reckoning email, he is chairman of family-wealth advisory Bonner & Partners, and co-author with his son Will of Family Fortunes: How to Build Family Wealth and Hold Onto It for 100 Years (Wiley, 2012).
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