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Daily Telegraph: "Despite the crisis, Britons are still spending like drunkards"

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"In the 10 years before the credit crunch, our household debt rose from 90 per cent of disposable income to more than 160 per cent. It remains above 150 per cent today. A collective failure to grasp the scale of damage still being done to the economy by persistently overstretched consumers is why policy responses have been so ineffective.

" 'Unrealistic expectations for house prices and incomes,' says Fathom Consulting’s Danny Gabay, a former Bank of England economist, have left us with 'zombie households and banks'. Our underlying problem, he concludes, is 'excessive' private-sector debt.

"Yet the message from ministers and retailers is that we need to restore confidence, so that shoppers will start spending again.

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