Perhaps I was not the only one who went on a spending freeze during the federal government shutdown. I saw plenty of cars and people as I went shopping yesterday. Retail workers said the stores had been especially busy not just on Saturday, but also the day before. It is perhaps an indication that people were holding back on spending to a slight extent for the last few weeks as a precaution, as they were faced with the prospect of a shutdown-fueled recession. Some of that delayed spending is happening this weekend.
I don’t think this means people will be spending freely again at retail for the rest of the year, though. It often happens after a major interruption that people think they are going back to what they were doing before, when in fact they may be doing ten percent less.