Americans are incurring more debt.  St. Cloud State Economist King Banaian explained on WJON Monday that debts levels are returning to 2019 levels.  He says the pandemic of 2020 influenced many people's spending.  Banaian indicates the Government stimulus money issued has largely been spent, people are incurring more credit card debt and loan defaults are the rise.  He says they are seeing increases in delinquencies with rent and credit cards.  Banaian says many people in 2020 and 2021 paid off credit cards and got caught up on rent.  He says this trend of accumulating more debt has been happening for the past year and a half.

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Banaian explains spending habits will likely be downsized this summer.  He expects long distance summer vacations will become staycations.  Banaian believes most people have enough money to take local vacations.  He says Minnesota resorts believe they will have booming business again this summer.  Banaian has no concerns about domestic travel slowing down.

Gas prices have been on the rise within the last week.  Banaian explains many OPEC countries announced recently that their production cuts will extend into the 2nd quarter.  He says this rise in price doesn't have to do with the switch from winter to summer blend gas.  Banaian says that will happen in about 2 months just prior to the Minnesota Walleye fishing opener.  He expects gas prices to remain above $3.00 a gallon for the time being and likely into the summer months.  Banaian expects a small drop in price just prior to the switch from winter to summer blend.

If you'd like to listen to my conversation with King Banaian, it is available below.



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