While the recession has put the brakes on recreational spending, it has also caused many consumers to put off major purchases — such as a new car or washing machine — until the economy rebounds.
Those postponed purchases represent a phenomenon known as "pent-up demand," which is often the key to emerging from an economic downturn.
David Wyss, chief economist at Standard & Poor's, says there's no question that consumers have been putting off purchases of big-ticket items. But he doesn't expect to see the kind of spending bender that marked the end of the last recession in 2002.
As people realize how good it feels to shake some of that "frugal fatigue," the holiday season should get a boost that extends into spring, which Cohen predicts will see the biggest retail sales increase.
...Still, gone are the days when people would turn to their home-equity lines to upgrade their stoves and refrigerators. Along with credit, shoppers need confidence the economy will come back.
"Our fingers are crossed," says
SearsHome Appliances President Doug Moore. "We'll see whether customers jump back in."
Keep are fingers crossed that people are able to upgrade and make purchases that they need. Not necessarily buy everything under the sun and charge it to the house. There are many good aspects to the frugal is cool ideology, it would be a shame to discard it so fast.