The $11 Trillion Advantage That Shields U.S. From Turmoil

retail spending

By Shobhana Chandra | Bloomberg

retail spendingCall it America’s $11 trillion advantage: Consumer spending is likely to steer the U.S. economy safely through the shoals of deteriorating global growth and turbulent financial markets.

The combination of more jobs, falling gasoline prices and low borrowing costs will help lift household purchases. Such tailwinds probably matter more than Europe’s struggles or the slackening in emerging markets that caused the Dow Jones Industrial Average last week to erase its gains for the year.

“We’ve got a lot of things working in favor of the consumer right now,” said Nariman Behravesh, chief economist in Lexington, Massachusetts, at IHS Inc. “To have that kind of strength is the biggest asset for the U.S. It’s a pretty rock solid footing.”

Household purchases make up almost 70 percent of the $16.8 trillion U.S. economy and have climbed an average 2 percent in the recovery that’s now in its sixth year. Spending growth will accelerate to 2.7 percent next year after 2.3 percent in 2014, according to the latest Bloomberg survey of economists. Continued

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