U.S. Consumers Are In Very Serious Trouble As We Finish Out 2023
By Michael Snyder/Economic Collapse BlogNovember 20, 203
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U.S. consumers are getting weaker and weaker and weaker. Today, debt levels have risen to unprecedented heights, but thanks to roaring inflation our standard of living has been steadily going down. Most Americans are working extremely hard, but they have very little to show for it. And now the latest economic downturn is really starting to bite.
Layoffs are starting to surge again, once thriving businesses are shutting down all over the nation, and hunger and homelessness are exploding. If economic conditions continue to deteriorate at this pace, what will things look like a year from now?
For decades, we have been able to count on U.S. consumers to just keep spending money no matter what the economic outlook was, but now things have changed.
The following are 11 signs that U.S. consumers are in very serious trouble as we head into the final stretch of 2023...
#1 U.S. renters are spending 30 percent of their incomes just on rent...
Renters remained burdened in the U.S. during the third quarter of 2023 despite a slight improvement as insurance costs to landlords mounted, according to a new report by Moody's Analytics.
Moody's Analytics found that in Q3, the U.S. rent-to-income ratio (RTI) declined slightly by 0.5% and ended at 30%, a level that is the threshold for being rent-burdened. Renters are considered "burdened" if their rent payments consume 30% or more of their gross, or pre-tax, income.
This comes after last year marked the first time that the median renter household in the U.S. paid over 30% of their income on an average-priced apartment when the national RTI reached a high of 30.8%.
#2 One food bank executive just told USA Today that she is seeing "the worst rate of hunger in my career" right now...
"This is the worst rate of hunger in my career," said Morgan, who has worked at food banks in Boston, San Francisco and Anchorage, Alaska. "It's so large, it's hard to wrap your head around."
#3 Wells Fargo just shut down 13 bank branches in a single week...
Six banks filed to close almost 40 branches last week leaving millions of Americans without access to vital financial services, with Wells Fargo alone axing 13 locations.
Wells Fargo has been a leader in the closure of branches around the country, having closed 160 in the first half of the year, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence.
#4 Average hourly earnings for all employees have fallen by 3.32 percent since Joe Biden entered the White House...
Millions of Americans have received a pay cut over the past two years thanks to high inflation, a blow to President Biden as he attempts to center his re-election campaign around "Bidenomics."
The Labor Department reported Tuesday that average hourly earnings for all employees was $11.05 in October -- a 3.32% decline from the $11.43 figure in January 2021, when Biden took office.
#5 Due to a lack of consumer demand, three different major Burger King franchisees have recently declared bankruptcy...
Premier Kings, a 172-unit Burger King franchisee whose owner died in 2022, declared bankruptcy protection, saying that operating losses even after the company closed restaurants forced the issue.
It's the third time this year that a major Burger King operator has taken such a step, while several others closed restaurants around the country in the aftermath of the chain's sales and profit challenges.
#6 Vice Media has announced that it will be laying off dozens of staffers...
Vice Media, the one-time digital media darling that has seen its value and influence greatly diminish in recent years, moved on Thursday to further hollow out its once prestigious news division, shutting down several shows and laying off dozens of staffers.
#7 According to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, almost 20,000 media jobs have already been eliminated this year...
Nearly 20,000 jobs have been eliminated across the media industry this year as of October, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas.
#8 Amazon is laying off hundreds of workers in its Alexa division...
Amazon on Friday said that it is cutting "several hundred" jobs within its Alexa division.
The layoffs come as the e-commerce giant is "shifting some of our efforts to better align with our business priorities, and what we know matters most to customers --which includes maximizing our resources and efforts focused on generative AI," an Amazon spokesperson confirmed to FOX Business.
#9 Just in time for the holidays, Citigroup has decided to conduct large scale layoffs...
Citigroup will soon begin layoffs in CEO Jane Fraser's corporate overhaul, CNBC has learned.
Employees affected by the cuts will be informed starting Wednesday, with new dismissals announced daily through early next week, according to people with knowledge of the situation.
Those impacted will include chiefs of staff, managing directors and some lower-level employees, said the people. The cuts will spread to more rank-and-file staff by February, they added.
#10 As consumer wealth has dried up, federal tax receipts have been falling on a quarterly basis since the third quarter of 2022...
Rather, federal spending is rising even as federal revenues have fallen, year over year, for ten of the last twelve months. Moreover, on a quarterly basis, federal receipts have been falling--quarter-to-quarter--since the third quarter of 2022.
#11 80 percent of U.S. households are actually poorer than they were when the COVID pandemic originally hit this country...
As of June, the bottom 80% of households by income, when adjusted for inflation, had lower bank deposits and other liquid assets compared to their status in March 2020. The decline marks a significant shift from the initial phases of the pandemic, where various factors, including government financial support and restricted spending opportunities during lockdowns, led to an accumulation of excess savings.
Most Americans have been getting poorer, but the cost of living just keeps getting even more oppressive.
As a result, the middle class is literally being hollowed out.
The absolutely massive gap between the ultra-wealthy and everyone else has become an extremely pressing issue in this country, and it is going to lead to enormous civil unrest during the chaotic years that are ahead of us.
Our leaders were able to keep the economy propped up for a long time by injecting trillions of fresh dollars into the system.
But now the "endgame" has arrived, and it is going to be incredibly painful.