Scarred and scared: post-Covid consumers not their spending ...

World

Scarred and scared: post-Covid consumers not their spending selves

Worldwide, spending is down, which could force governments to hasten easing of lockdowns, cut interest rates

Mark John

Michael Clark of Amy’s Housewares has one big fear as its London shops prepare to reopen on June 15, with other retailers around Britain: “Customers not spending, having no trust in the economy.”

His concern, captured in a survey by the British Independent Retailers’ Association (BIRA) before a nationwide easing of social-distancing measures, may be well founded.

Across the world, consumers are emerging from lockdowns warier and more thrift-conscious than before. That will drag on any recovery and could encourage governments and central bankers to follow up on coronavirus handouts with more costly stimulus...

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