But according to Darroch, the danger in false optimism is that consumers repeat the same mistakes—overconsumption, reliance on debt, owning homes beyond their means, and failing to save—that led to the Great Recession.
"At some point we need to feel as if we're moving forward again, but I fear that we haven't learned anything," Darroch says. "It's in our DNA that consumption is a good thing. If you look around at what we think normal is, the size of the house we own, how many TVs are in the house, how many cars we need, our definition of 'normal' is different that other cultures."
Adds Darroch: "The goal should be to have wise consumption that propels the economy forward without repeating the mistakes of the past."