Americans – whose purchases account for 70 percent of U.S. economic activity – are spending carefully, and they don’t expect to improve their income or job prospects any time soon.
“Going forward, there seems to be a lot of uncertainty,” said Joe Flannery, president of Weaver’s Inc., a 155-year-old department store in Lawrence, Kan.
He, like other retailers, is watching for a ripple effect on general merchandise sales if food prices rise because of the drought later this year and into 2013.
“I think there is uncertainty about the second half of the year,” Flannery said. “I think there is some trepidation.”