Wall Street may be paying out $bns in bonuses. But in the rest of the USA, rising unemployment and foreclosure are having a major impact.
In a new analysis, the New York Times reveals that the Federal food stamp programme "now helps feed one in eight Americans and one in four children".
Renamed the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, it enables families and individuals to buy groceries, and averages $130 per recipient each month. Around 90% of those helped live below the poverty line ($22k for a family of 4). Blacks are worst hit, with 25% receiving aid. 15% of Latinos are being helped, and 8% of whites.
These are worrying statistics for chemical companies. Many products that we produce are discretionary rather than essential. And people who need help to buy food are focused on 'needs' rather than 'wants'. This will hold back the recent recovery in industry sales.