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Economic Indicators

Consumer Debt is Down, Spending Up. But It’s All Good.

The latest consumer debt numbers are out, and the news is good.  Consumer debt decreased in February, as card holders held back on using their plastic. Overall, consumer debt was down to $794 billion, as illustrated in the graphic.  This decrease continues what has been a steady decline in card balances.  Beginning in September 2008, card balances have gone down nearly every month.  Balances did rise in December 2010, but …Read More

Retail sales and Financial Literacy

Today’s news that retail sales increased slightly at 0.3 percent in January is positive news on a couple of fronts. While the increase was not as large as many economists were hoping for, keep in mind that much of the country was braving intense winter storms and snow throughout much of the month. So put in context, an increase of any size can be thought of as a pretty good …Read More