Barron's picks up "Energy Finally Dragging Down Spending"

Wednesday, August 17, 2005 | 06:32 PM
in Media



Barron's picked up yesterday's Energy Finally Dragging Down Spending:

THE RESILIENCY OF CONSUMER SPENDING in the face of high energy prices has surprised many observers. The modest impact high energy prices has had on spending has been mustered by some economists as proof of the resiliency of the economy. If $65-a-barrel oil doesn't hurt spending, than this must be a robust economy, they argued.

Unfortunately, that issue has now been resolved -- to the downside. With Target's announcement last week and Wal-Mart's dour guidance Tuesday, there can be little doubt that high energy prices are impacting consumer spending.

Up until now, the negative economic drag has been hidden by the bifurcated nature of the U.S. consumer. High gas prices may be a mere annoyance to the high-end shopper (Tiffany, Neiman Marcus, Coach), but to consumers who frequent the discounters (Costco, BJs, Wal-Mart, Target) the added energy expense significantly crimps spending. Budget-minded shoppers simply cannot shrug off $3-a-gallon gasoline.

I thought that entire line of thougth has been terribly obvious, and have been mentionin g it for the better part of a year now -- but apparently, many people have been claiming that there's no inflation and Oil doesn't matter -- Until it does, which is approximately now.

High Oil Prices Hurt Consumer Spending
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 17, 2005 11:56 a.m. EDT

Wednesday, August 17, 2005 | 06:32 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0) add to | digg digg this! | technorati add to technorati | email email this post



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>a mere annoyance to the high-end shopper

For at least the ones I know, it IS annoying them. When you own 5 different homes and have to pay all their energy bills each month, it adds up.

Not that they'd ever dream of selling off the least used property or two (even though this is the best time to cash out). But the bills are at gripe level.

Posted by: Blackwood | Aug 17, 2005 6:45:15 PM

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