This year's back-to-school shopping season promises to be the worst one in decades for retailers, industry analysts say.
Halfway through the season, consumers are continuing to hang onto their wallets as job fears trump spending, making for gloomy sales projections, The New York Times reported Saturday.
The average family with school-age children is spending nearly 8 percent less this year than last, the National Retail Federation estimated, while retail researcher ShopperTrak called for back-to-school traffic to be down 10 percent from last year's levels, the newspaper said.
"This is going to be the worst back-to-school season in many, many years," added Craig Johnson, of retailing consultant firm Customer Growth Partners.
All the money spent on so-called "stimulus" has garnered pretty little.
And we are now stuck with a ginormous bill to pay.
$14 Trillion in debt.
Unemployment is stated at 9.5% - but we all know that it is much higher.
August numbers should prove to be even higher - with summer jobs ending and the Census work finished.
Some key economic indicators will be out this week.
On Wednesday, the Institute for Supply Management, puts out its figures which will show whether US manufacturers are still raising output. It is expected to fall from 55.5 in July to 53 in August. (Numbers above 50 indicate expansion).
The latest US employment figures come out on Friday.
A sustained rise in unemployment is one likely trigger for the Federal Reserve to launch "the QE2" (quantitative easing 2) by buying billions of dollars of long-term assets such as Treasury bonds in an attempt to stimulate the economy. (Inflation here we come!)
Non-farm payrolls data is due out on Friday. This of course is the most important indicator on the labor market and the US economy. Unemployment is expected to continue to rise.
No Matter - it is certain Michelle Obama will find someplace else to fly to and spend a ton of taxpayer money. She's a stimulus program all on her own.