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Young shoppers stroll through the Glendale Galleria in Glendale, Calif., in search of bargains on Black Friday. The day following U.S. Thanksgiving has traditionally been the busiest shopping day in the U.S.
Young shoppers stroll through the Glendale Galleria in Glendale, Calif., in search of bargains on Black Friday. The day following U.S. Thanksgiving has traditionally been the busiest shopping day in the U.S.
(JONATHAN ALCORN/REUTERS)

U.S. shoppers have missed the memo on a recovery

In all the talk of a U.S. recovery, one important group has been conspicuously missing in action – consumers. As a troubled U.S. retail picture shows, shoppers have not returned in force to their local malls, even though they are starting to pile up more debt.

Household debt climbed slightly more than 2 per cent to $11.5-trillion (U.S.) in the final quarter of 2013. That’s the first year-over-year increase since the Great Meltdown, but remains well off the $12.7-trillion chalked up at the high-water mark in 2008.