The Vaunted American Consumer: Drooping More, Shopping Less

Even after accounting for seasonal factors such as which period had more selling days, the data paint a bleak picture of consumer spending, which isn’t likely to get any better given the trends we are seeing this tax season. Internal Revenue Service data show tax refunds are down 4.1 percent over 2018, and the strategists at UBS AG estimate refunds will be $25 billion lower than they’d initially estimated this year.