Center for American Progress

Consumers Can’t Hang on Forever as Trouble Brews

Consumers Can’t Hang on Forever as Trouble Brews

I wrote in this column in early 2002 that Time magazine erred in not naming U.S. consumers “Person of the Year,” in recognition of their impressive purchases of cars and houses in the 2001 recession.

The U.S. consumer has stayed remarkably resilient, even in the face of a recovery with declining family income. Now, however, many forecasters see them as they would Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid trying to escape from the Bolivian army: you may have a good run, but the forces you are about to face are overwhelming.

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