On the whole, wages for workers aren't keeping up with the inflation rate, causing them to fork out more just to afford the basics. Median weekly wages rose just 1.6 percent in the fourth quarter over that quarter in 2010. In contrast, prices rose 3.3 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As a result, consumers dipped more into their savings: The annual personal saving rate plunged 29 percent in the fourth quarter (compared with that stretch of 2010), to 3.7 percent. This is the lowest saving rate since 2007's fourth quarter, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Spending failed to keep up with the production of goods at the end of 2011 because most newly created jobs paid close to the minimum wage, Vitner said. Seventy-seven percent of the jobs created since the end of the recession are in the low-paying sectors of retail, leisure and hospitality, home health care and temporary staffing, according to Vitner. With credit still tight and wages falling (once adjusted for inflation), Americans aren't boosting their spending, he said
Read it at The Huffington Post
by Bonnie Kavoussi