Why Americans are not afraid of spending

Many Americans are emerging from the pandemic in better shape than they entered it. Households have stronger balance sheets partly thanks to the government’s pandemic help, and pay for low-wage workers has been rising faster than inflation.

But shoppers might start to feel thriftier as pandemic government support recedes, and if inflation remains hot, said Gregory Daco, chief economist at EY-Parthenon. In January, they spent less on items whose prices have surged, like gasoline. Sales at bars and restaurants also took a dip.

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