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U.S. Consumers Show Signs of Stress

After a post-pandemic shopping spree, some Americans are becoming more selective with their spending as they struggle with factors like inflation. Although overall consumer spending remains strong, analysts say they detect worrying shifts in shopping habits.

Financial reports this week from retailers including Macy’s, Kohl’s, Foot Locker and Nordstrom suggest that consumers are no longer buying with abandon. Executives also flagged rising credit card delinquencies and higher rates of retail theft as ominous signs that consumers could be strapped for cash.

At the annual Jackson Hole conference in Wyoming — think Cannes for economists — Jerome Powell, the Federal Reserve chair, said the central bank would stick by its push to stamp out high inflation “until the job is done,” with officials ready to raise interest rates further if needed.

China, the world’s second-largest economy, which once seemed unstoppable, is plagued by a series of problems and a growing lack of faith in the future.

Source: The New York Times