We did some market research the other day and observed some new consumer attitudes. Consumers - thats you an me - are cutting back their spending. However a few months ago it would have been something they would have rationalised with 'we didn't need it' or 'the old one is still working fine'. But now they are happy to say 'we haven't got the money', 'we can't afford it'. Expenditure is not just being postponed, it is being cancelled. And being wealthy isn't quite as cool as it was.
Economists call this the paradox of thrift, to get out of a recession you need money to be circulating - in other words we should all spend money - but the rational choice of an individual is not to spend but to save for a rainy day.
What does this mean for producers and marketers? Not sure but ostentatious wealth and consumption is off the agenda and it sounds like the recession could get a whole lot worse.
Next week i am going to look for some sunnier news.