Eugene David
...The One-Minute Pundit

Friday, June 17, 2011

Energy and food costs have risen 19 percent and 4 percent since December, according to the Labor Department. That caused real disposable income, or the money left over after taxes and adjusted for inflation, to remain unchanged. The confluence of higher prices and unemployment at 9.1 percent has become especially acute for households making less than $75,000 a year, according to David Schick, an analyst at Stifel Nicolaus & Co. in Baltimore.

“More-persistent inflation is affecting consumer confidence,” Schick said. “This may cause low-to-middle income consumers to trade down when shopping at retailers.”

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