Saturday, November 06, 2004

Considering the fact that the American people saved a whopping 0.2% of their disposable income in September, and considering the fact that the rich save a much higher percentage of their income than does the working class, it really doesn't come as a surprise then that
Consumers borrowed more freely in September, especially when it came to racking up charges on their credit cards, the Federal Reserve reported Friday.

The latest snapshot of people's appetite to borrow showed that consumer credit rose by a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.8 percent in September from the previous month, or by $9.8 billion.

The increase left Americans' consumer credit outstanding at $2.05 trillion.

The figures are consistent with a strong retail sales report for September released by the government last month. That report suggested shoppers ignored soaring energy prices and rediscovered their urge to splurge. . . .

In September, demand for revolving credit, such as credit cards, led the way. Such borrowing surged at a 10 percent annual rate, or by $6.2 billion, from the previous month.
Well, what's good for the federal government must be good for John and Jane Public, no? Unfortunately, I don't think Citibank or MBNA will be quite as accomodating as the Bank of Japan or the People's Bank of China. But never fear, AP says!
A government report on Friday that showed companies stepped up hiring in October offered an encouraging sign that consumers will keep pocketbooks and wallets open sufficiently wide in coming months to support economic activity, analysts said.
Indeed, 337,000 new jobs in October does sound pretty good. Until, that is, you read the fine print.
Professional and business services employment rose by 97,000 in October, with temporary help services accounting for about half of the increase (48,000). Since April 2003, temporary help services has added 397,000 jobs.
That means that 16.1% of all the new private sector jobs created in October were office temp jobs, and since April 2003, 19.8% of all new private sector jobs -- nearly one in five -- have been temp work.

Probably not a good idea to max out that credit card when Manpower is paying the bills. Of course, with poverty levels up and health insurance coverage down under Bush, there is often little choice for those trying to eek out a middle class lifestyle on East European-level wages.

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