Fidelity Investments provides us with an update on recent developments, which may signal a better than expected economic recovery.
"While the latest consumer confidence survey data were disappointing, investors should keep in mind that what consumers are doing is often more important than what they are saying. In February, retail sales grew for the fourth consecutive month and the rate of growth was significantly ahead of economists’ expectations. Overall consumer spending grew on a year-over-year basis during Q4 2009 for the first time in six quarters. Though income growth remained meager, household net worth rose 11.5% ($5.5 trillion) in 2009, due largely to rising savings rates have nudged back down. This recent shift in consumers’ greater willingness to spend belies their overall confidence level, a contradiction that may reflect some pent-up demand for products and services in the aftermath of a severe recession."
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