What counts for an economy that primarily depends upon its consumers? Family income needs to increase beyond inflation. Otherwise, families find themselves with less purchasing power and, ultimately, those families spend less.
Since the U.S. economic recovery effectively began in July of 2009, inflation-adjusted wages have actually dropped 3%. In other words, at least in terms of purchasing power, families are no better off than when the recession had concluded.
A majority of economists have been puzzled by the data that they revere. Consistent jobs growth in 2014 would appear to signal improvement such that these folks expected retailer success. Yet the retail segment flat-lined in July. Those same analysts anticipated higher readings for consumer sentiment. Instead, sentiment dropped in August to a 10-month low (79.2). Perhaps the analysts could have focused on the quality of job growth (e.g., part-time, low pay, etc.) rather than the quantity (e.g., 200,000 per