Q: What does February’s continued retail sales momentum say about the economic recovery? Are consumers starting to return to their old mindset, or are we still in the recovery upswing and may see flat growth soon?
A: I think the consumers are still in the recovery upswing and I don’t think we will see them hit their normal stride for at least another year or perhaps two years in many markets. I have not heard that consumer borrowing is increasing, which is indicative of the pre-recession consumer mindset. In terms of flat growth, yes, I expect that we won’t see the gains we saw last fall this fall, since we have been in recovery mode for a couple years now.