Where’s The Spend
What’s clear is that by now most taxpayers should have received their rebate checks, as part of the economic stimulus package. What’s not is what impact the rebates will have on retail. The general consensus is that consumers will either bank their checks or use them to pay for everyday essentials, like food, gas and credit payments.
In the past, recipients of government refunds or rebates have shown little appetite to park those payments in a savings account. There’s little hard evidence to support claims that consumers have changed their habits. U.S. citizens have a long and lousy record in the personal savings category. Even though most of the payments are direct deposit, initial data still shows most of the money won’t stay there for long.
The fact that most consumers don’t save should be good news for retailers. It’s a sure bet that at least some of the rebates will be spent on consumer electronics.