NEW YORK (MainStreet) -- It's not holiday media humbug, it's near consensus: U.S. consumers are holding back spending and their stagnant income is to blame.
Numerous holiday spending forecasts have already warned retailers that shoppers are feeling a bit stingy this year. The median household income in the U.S. hit roughly $52,000 last year, according to the Census Bureau. That's still well below the $56,400 those households were making in pre-recession 2007 and similarly distant from the all-time high of $57,000 last seen in 1999.
Meanwhile, roughly 51% of U.S. households make less than $50,000. Only about 18% of households make between $50,000 and $75,000, which could explain why a Bankrate.com report finds that two-thirds of Americans are limiting what they spend each month. Of those a full 32% say stagnant income is curbing their spending, while 29% simply want to save more. Don't blame the overall economy, either: Only 16% says worries about the economy are keeping them from spending more freely.