Consumers are hunkering down in expectation of something very bad

Savings Rate Soars To Highest Since May 2009 On December Surge In Comp And Dividends Ahead Of Fiscal Cliff

One look at the headline December data and one would get the impression that millions of Americans had started dealing meth out of some New Mexico RV, as personal income exploded by the most in 8 years, soaring some 2.6% in December to $13.936 billion. And since the surge in income, which was expected to rise some 0.8%, was hardly matched by a comparable boost to spending which missed expectations of 0.3%, rising just 0.2% – somewhat paradoxical considering the biggest boost to the otherwise negative Q4 GDP print was precisely this: spending and consumption, meant that the personal saving rate (which is merely a function of income less spending) soared to 6.5% or the highest since May 2009 – superficially an indication that consumers are hunkering down in expectation of something very bad.

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