Study: Shift in consumer spending from 2007 to 2012

The Great Recession ended in 2009

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The economy is growing, unemployment is shrinking, and more consumers are reaching into their wallets. One person said, “Spending more now than five years ago, probably yeah.”

While we’re keeping a close eye on our bank accounts, families hit hard by the Great Recession are seeing new strength in the economy.

Tom Johnson of Westborough said, “We keep our budget manageable. I’d say the economy is stronger so we’re probably spending a little more freely.”

He’s not alone. Commerce Department data shows people in Massachusetts are spending more freely. In 2012, Massachusetts had the second highest per person spending rate.

Northampton residents told 22News their not as concerned about their bank accounts now as they may have been five years ago. “I think a lot of people were doing the same thing they were watching their pennies very closely, they had to survive,” said Brian Tabor of Northampton.

However, this year’s college graduates face better employment prospects, with Massachusetts unemployment rate the lowest it’s been in six years.

Sophie Howard of Northampton said, “It definitely affected my sister who graduated during the recession and was looking for a job then. Now that I’ve graduated and am looking for a job their definitely seems to be a lot more of availabilities and opportunities.”

Many people told 22News they’re spending money just like they did before the recession, but are more cautious over how much is left in their savings account.

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