The US student loan pause is ending and likely to hurt sales
The retail sector could see spending slump as repayments resume
In a couple of weeks, US consumers will be required to start making payments on some $1.6 trillion of student loan debt after a three-year moratorium. Economists estimate the repayments could curb consumer spending by anywhere from $9 billion a month to $70 billion a year. And that’s before accounting for the recent uptick in gasoline prices, which are now at their highest since October. Retailers must be pretty concerned about how this will effect shoppers, right? Well, yes and no. Ask three different retailers and you’re likely to get three different answers, underscoring how there is little consensus among even those closest to consumers on how all this will play out.