Retailers Adjust to Rich Getting Richer and Middle Class Fading

Aletho News

By Noel Brinkerhoff | AllGov | February 4, 2014

As Americans in the economic middle struggle to keep up, many retailers and other businesses have decided to focus on the demands of the wealthy.

Since the end of the Great Recession, the nation’s top earners have been doing a significant portion of the consumer spending during the weak economic recovery, which is great news for high-end businesses that cater to this class.

But retailers and restaurants that have long catered to the middle class are fading because middle-earners have so little disposal income these days.

The rich (considered the top 5%) don’t have the same problem. They were responsible for nearly 40% of domestic consumption in 2012. Two decades earlier, the rate was only 28% in 1995, according to research performed by economists Steven Fazzari, of Washington University in St. Louis, and Barry Cynamon, a visiting scholar at the Federal…

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