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Despite elevated joblessness, Superstorm Sandy and the fiscal cliff, American consumers seem to be spending and that’s good for the economy. Holiday shopping is always a focus this time of year; the real question is where the demand is coming from – are people using savings or just shifting their purchases around.
The downside to the outsized role of consumer spending is that it means less saving and investment, which makes our economy less productive. We need to focus on exports – getting consumers abroad to spend on our products.