Things we’re not buying

We’re told that if we don’t start spending and stop saving soon, we’ll make the economy even worse. But is anyone really buying that (pun intended)?

Talk to your friends and neighbors these days and you’ll likely find them putting off big purchases. That was the refrain from about 100 Minnesotans in our Public Insight Network who responded the past few weeks to our query on their personal economic forecast. (You can fill one out, too).

The citizen voices that help shape our coverage at Minnesota Public Radio News offered up a detailed picture of things they aren’t buying. That includes vacations, new cars and furniture. A few other that struck me:

“Putting plans to move out of the state to be with long-time boyfriend on hold. Before the economic downturn it seemed reasonable to move before finding a job, but now it seems irresponsible to both of us for me to move before I have a job nailed down.” — Jessica Bailey, Minneapolis

“Travel. Even our 30th wedding anniversary next month will be much lower key than planned.” — Jim McLean, Duluth

“My car doesn’t really have a reverse gear. I’m selective in my parking.”– David Schlenk, Brooklyn Park

“All I can buy is food with NO extras at all. No entertainment, eating out, NOTHING.” — Curt Lee, St. Cloud

Their perspectives match up with what the Minneapolis Fed is seeing across the upper Midwest. Minnesota state economist Tom Stinson described it as the paradox of thrift when he delivered his bummer of a forecast earlier this month, “What’s good for individuals is not necessarily good for the national economy.”

There are definitely signs the economy may be bottoming out, but the upturn part may still be a ways away. You can help us understand the Minnesota economy but telling us your economic forecast.

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