Venturing out to retail stores this weekend, I saw more people out shopping than I had seen on weekends in August and September. But while people were eagerly shopping, they did not seem to be in a spending mood. The busiest places I saw were Goodwill and Starbucks, and even there, people were being choosy about what they bought. There was plenty of traffic on the roads, so other stores I didn’t visit must also have been busy.
Falling gasoline prices are part of the reason people are shopping again, and fading concern about the flu season may be another reason. The U.S. flu season appears to have peaked around a month ago, and the new H1N1 flu is becoming more familiar and less worrisome to people as time passes.