Why save when one can spend? This appears to have been the motto of
American consumers in the past three months when the US Savings rate has
plunged from 4.7% in December to a tiny 3.7% in February: the lowest
since December 2007's 2.6%, and just as the recession and the market
crash was about to send everyone scrambling for the safety of bank
The reason: in February personal spending soared by 0.8% on expectations
of a 0.6% rise, while incomes barely rose by 0.2% on a consensus rise of
0.4%. Which means the balance had to be savings funded.
So even as we have seen retail weakness in the past three months, we now
know that it was not only credit funded, but also forced US consumers to
burn through their meager savings. And all this before the gasoline
price shock hit. The question then is: with the remainder of US savings
about to be tapped out on gasoline purchases, just where will the money
come to fund all those priced in NEW iPad acquisitions?
Or will Apple finally use up its cash hoard and start a captive lending
unit, giving consumers credit to purchase its products? At the rate the
US consumer is going broke it may soon have no other option.