'Consumers Have Thrown In the Towel': Report

Weary from a long fight, consumers are retrenching, cutting purchases across the board
By Clay Dillow,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 31, 2008 9:24 AM CDT
Stock prices are shown at the Nasdaq MarketSite in Times Square Friday, Oct. 24, 2008 in New York. Wall Street joined world stock markets in a precipitous plunge last Friday,   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
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(Newser) – The punches are coming from all directions and consumers, beaten down and out of breath, are clearly ceding the fight through decreased spending, Bloomberg reports. The scorecard released today says it all: consumer purchases were down 0.3% in September, the biggest drop in 4 years, capping the weakest quarter in 30 years. Inflation is also cooling, today's report found, giving the Fed, which warned this week of further “downside risks,” more room to maneuver.

The longest expansion in spending on record has come to a close as rising unemployment and rising prices, coupled with falling property values, have pummeled the electorate to the breaking point. It's no surprise that the economy is the No. 1 issue in the election, Bloomberg notes.