Maxed Out: Keeping Up With the Joneses

This summer saw the biggest decrease in consumer spending in 30 years - a sign that chasing the elusive Joneses may have finally exhausted Americans financially.For the past 60 years, since the U.S. Department of Commerce started tracking these statistics, consumer spending from quarter to quarter is almost always increased. Not only has it decreased this past quarter, but by 3.7 per cent – the largest decrease since 1980.Two thirds of the gross domestic product is consumer spending. One hundred years ago most of our income went toward necessities, today, nearly half is for non-necessities. Our wants have kept our economy going. But the mortgage meltdown that lead to the credit crisis and now the credit freeze is putting our lifestyle, our consumer way of life and ultimately our economy, at risk.

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