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Growth of consumer spending, income sluggish in Wisconsin

When the economy took a major hit a few years back, many people here in Wisconsin had their lives severely impacted. Some recently released statistics indicate that the effects of this economic turmoil have continued to linger in the state and may be influencing consumer behavior.

The statistics are from the U.S. Commerce Department and they regard consumer spending between 2011 and 2012. According to the statistics, during this time period, consumer spending rose only 2.5 percent in Wisconsin. This is low both compared to the rest of the region and the country as a whole. The Great Lakes region saw a 3.6 percent increase and the nation saw a 4.1 percent increase.

One thing that may be behind this sluggish growth in the state is that personal income growth has also been slow here in Wisconsin as compared to other parts of the country. Between 2011 and 2012, there was a 3.9 percent rise in personal income in Wisconsin. Meanwhile, one of our neighbors, Minnesota, experienced a 4.6 percent rise. On a national level, there was a 4.2 percent rise.

Other things that have been pointed to as potential contributing factors to how slow consumer spending growth is here in Wisconsin are:

  • Housing market problems.
  • Unemployment problems.
  • State spending cuts.
  • Consumers focusing on paying down debt.
  • Pessimism among consumers about the future.

Thus, it appears that there are still many difficulties with the economic conditions here in Wisconsin. Such difficulties sometimes result in individuals having problems with debt. Sometimes, debt struggles go beyond the point where they can simply be fixed by a person making some cuts to spending. Sometimes, other measures, such as pursuing a personal bankruptcy, are needed to get back on one's feet financially. Bankruptcy attorneys can give individuals who are having difficulties with debt advice as to what sort of debt relief options they may want to think about pursuing.

Source: Fond du Lac Reporter, "Wisconsin sees slow growth in consumer spending," M.L. Johnson, Aug. 7, 2014

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