Which leads us to this morning's personal consumption and expenditure report. To the NY Times:
While 63% of Americans said they were concerned about the overall state of financial markets in 2009, just 45% said they were concerned in 2010.
Nervousness and fear about retirement dropped from 55% who were nervous or afraid last year to just 40% this year. American's concern about having enough money to retire has fallen from 56% in 2009 to 51% this year, the same as in early 2008, the study found.
“Americans appear more relaxed about retirement and are far less worried about their finances overall,” said Craig Hogan, Scottrade’s director of customer intelligence. “The number of people who reported being concerned about issues such as day-to-day expenses, education costs, paying off credit cards, and saving for big ticket purchases didn’t just decline – each category hit a four-year low.”
U.S. consumer spending rose as expected in February for a fifth straight month, while stagnant incomes pushed savings to their lowest level since October 2008, a government report showed on Monday.
The Commerce Department said spending increased 0.3 percent after rising by a slightly downwardly revised 0.4 percent in January. Consumer spending in January was previously reported to have increased 0.5 percent.