A new Harris poll confirms what the Bureau of Economic Analysis, retailers (despite a recent nudge upward), and presumably many readers' personal observations all echo: Americans are tightening their belts.
According to Harris, compared to six months ago we are minding our money and investments more carefully and, when possible, saving more and spending less. We are using our credit cards less frequently. We are less inclined to take out a loan. We are moving monies into safer investment portfolios.
All of which is helping push up the national savings rate, depicted here, courtesy of BEA:
There are some unsurprising generational and income-based differences in the Harris poll's findings. For example, 64 percent say they are less likely to take out some form of loan than they were six months ago, with the self-reported share who are avoiding borrowing higher among those with incomes under $35K (73 percent) than those with incomes $75K and above (58 percent). And fully a third of all Americans report pulling out the plastic less than they did six months back.
Anyway, I'm out--time to go get one of those 99-cent, "breakfast, not brokefast" egg-wrap sandwiches advertised in the Dunkin' Donuts commercial.