This is one economic indicator that I always watch. Because it is the bellwether for economic activity. The powers that be can push all the happy talk they want through the lapdog media, but this is a piece of data that is hard to manipulate. With some many people out of the workforce, and some many under employed, there is not that much spending. Since our economy is consumer based, we are in real trouble.
I agree with Malgus, it’s past time to look for hard assets, and to get out of debt as fast as possible. I could not believe the freedom that getting out of debt gave us. We always lived within our means, and never had to worry about making the payments, but the flexibility of no debt has been incredible.
I only purchase things now that will still be useful, maybe even more so, after the SHTF. We also have become much more focused on quality. I read Consumers Report for anything that I need to buy. I’m amazed to see how many times the best rate is not the most expensive.
Fasten your seat belts folks, I’m afraid it is going to be a scary ride.