The drop in gasoline prices over the fall and
summer months has been a plus for spending,
but other factors have a much bigger impact
on the consumer.
The better tone to the labor market, the sharp
rise in household net worth, and prerecession
levels of consumer confidence all act as
supports for the consumer.
However, stubbornly weak wage and income
growth remain as key constraints on spending.
Sustained economic growth is the best way to
ensure solid employment growth.