American households may want to prepare for some chilling moments this fall, and not because of the weather.
For American workers and the U.S. economy, “autumn could be scary,” The Washington Post states.
In fact, polls show more than half of U.S. workers believe the United States is still in a recession. And it warns that the economy is facing a bundle of headwinds this fall that could prove particularly tough for poor and middle class Americans.
“Unfortunately, we seem to be entering another of those periods of elevated risk,” economists at Bank of America Merrill Lynch warned in a report last week, The Post reports.
In an economy plagued with low-wage and part-time jobs, Americans’ wages have declined since the recession. It’s not just gas station attendants or fast-food workers that are feeling the wage pinch, The Post notes, government wages have fallen 5 percent since January.
Gains in incomes are hardly keeping pace with inflation, which is a sign employment will need to pick up for the expansion to strengthen, according to Bloomberg.
But millions are still aching for jobs and employers are not expected to rush to boost salaries given the state of the labor market.
Consumer spending is a lifeblood of the U.S economy and data show declines in July, indicating the world’s largest economy was off to a slow start in the third quarter, Bloomberg explains.
And some are skeptical about seeing improvement in consumer spending when the August data is released.
With household budgets already showing signs of strain, Americans are facing the prospects of rising fuel costs as they move toward the cooler months. Generally, Labor Day marks the end of high summer gas prices.
However, USA Today says drivers should not hold their breath expecting the typical September savings any time soon.
Gasoline is currently averaging $3.56 a gallon. There were wide scale expectations for a decline to $3.40 by early fall, but USA Today says many forecasters are now looking for a short-term spike of 10 cents a gallon, amid fears of military action against Syria.
The housing recovery was considered a bright spot in the economy, underwriting optimism that economic conditions were improving. But now there are questions emerging about potential cracks in that market as interest rates are rising faster than expected.
Added to these concerns are fears that the Federal Reserve will taper its stimulus program, removing support from a seemingly fragile economy. Then, there’s the likelihood that lawmakers in Washington will create economic turbulence fighting over the federal budget and debt limit.
And despite the apparent strain, sequestration looks like it’s here for at least another year, the Post says.
“Just when you thought the U.S. economy was ready to break out of its lackluster 2 percent growth pace that has dominated the recovery, reality hits,” The Post say researchers at RBC Capital Markets wrote in a report.
I thank the press outlets and corporate contributors named in this article for their good efforts~~
Rejoice and Glad!!
~~THEOS EK MĒCHANĒS~~
JOHN DANIEL BEGG
Washington, District of Columbia
Friday, 6th September, Anno Domini Nostri Iesu Christi, 2013~
John Daniel Begg
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