The Great Recession officially ended more than two years ago, yet its aftershocks still linger. With sour economic updates about unemployment, the housing market, the stock market, and the nation’s debt crisis constantly in the news, consumers haven’t leapt vigorously back into spending mode. They are feeling frugal—out of fear or out of necessity—and it’s not a stance they're going to shift any time soon.

What’s the New Normal Now for the Average Consumer?