Instead, says an article in the Wall Street Journal, consumers are "more often putting money aside for a rainy day or using it to pay down debt." Yes, you'll be excused for considering whether to press charges against these skinflints for treason against The American Dream, but this is what's happening in our country. Seems buyers feel the improving economy is still fresh enough to have a stink coming off of it, leading purchasers to exercise "persistent caution even when presented with an unexpected windfall," instead of exercising their plastic on spendy discretionary items.
A survey by Visa found that about half the saved money is put in savings, one quarter of it is being used to pay down debt, the last quarter is being applied to small purchases like groceries and fast food. Payment companies like Visa, MasterCard, and Discover say the low gas prices and lack of spending to make up for it have slowed their growth, and analysts say that it could stay that way until consumers sense that low gas prices are here to stay, which could take a few more months of the "party at the pump." But we're not going to fall for that trick again... are we?
Meanwhile, consumers are spending, they're just not spending every extra bit they've got. Deutsche Bank economist Torsten Slok might have the best perspective, saying, "We should be happy that consumers are paying down debt, and we should be happy that consumers are spending."