Dude, Where's My Depression?

The consumer might be tougher than we think.

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Another piece of good news. This from IHS Global Insight on today's consumer spending numbers:

1) Consumer spending rebounded in November, as collapsing gasoline and fuel prices - and deep holiday discounts - boosted real spending power for the second consecutive month and motivated consumers to dispense a little more mad money.

2) This positive gain in November suggests that consumer spending in the fourth quarter will not be the total disaster that many had feared. While auto sales are expected to remain depressed near 10 million units this quarter, real spending on merchandise and other non-durable goods should be up. All told, we now expect consumer spending to decline by about 2.5% to 3.0% in the fourth quarter.