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American Shoppers Have Plenty of Dry Powder

Americans say they are worried about the economy, and there certainly are reasons to question the staying power of consumer spending. That doesn’t mean they won’t spend heartily this holiday season.

The U.S. consumer is in a funk, according to the U.S. consumer. The University of Michigan’s sentiment index, based on a long-running survey of households, remains far below prepandemic levels and lately has been near levels experienced in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. Surveys of chief executives haven’t looked much better. And, while forecasters have lately been a little less dour, economists polled by The Wall Street Journal in October put the chances of a recession occurring within the next year at 48%.

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