More evidence that you don’t want to spend

In this economy, we are all saving as much as we can, paying down debt and becoming more frugal. That’s a theme we hear regularly as we talk about the economy in Minnesota. As economic watchers wait and worry about Tuesday’s retail sales report, here’s more evidence that Americans are rethinking the way they do business.

According to an Associated Press-GfK poll:

38 percent of those expecting a tax refund say they intend to spend some of it, but mostly on basic needs.

54 percent getting a refund say they planned to pay off credit card, utility, housing and other bills, up from 35 percent a year ago, according to an AP story on the poll.

Citizens from our Public Insight Network are telling us regularly that they are pulling back on purchases, are saving what they can and otherwise wary about extending themselves with any kind of spending.

In most circumstances this is a good thing. But experts keep telling us that we’ll mess up the economy even more if we don’t start spending our dough. What’s the right thing to do?

You can add your voice and help MPR News get a better perspective on what’s what happening by taking your own economic pulse.

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