Glimmers of hope in this economic down time

By Rebecca Powers - bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Wal Mart on Highway 49 was hopping on Friday before Easter. President Obama says he's seeing a glimmer of hope that the economy is turning around and consumer confidence is up, but many shoppers say they're still trying to spend a lot less at the registers.

"I have five children, and yes, I did back down some," Helena Duncan said.

Duncan backed down in spending since the economy took a nosedive last year. She said she's prioritizing carefully when writing her shopping list.

"More the necessities than the 'wants,'" said Duncan. "The candy the toys, just the 'I wants,' out of it."

Going out to eat, is certainly a 'want.' Helen Bailey whose been a server at Blow Fly Inn for 14 years does feel people loosening up their purse strings a bit.

"Oh yeah, it's getting a lot better, and we've been slammed," Bailey said.

Employees were taking a quick breather before the dinner rush. They say people from all over the country seem to have money to spend on dining out. They've had visitors from almost every state since Blow Fly was featured on a Food Network show a few months ago.

Bailey said, "[People] from Texas, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Kentucky."

Regal Nail Salon employees said they've had a steady stream of customers who spend money to get pampered. She hopes the President is right about consumer confidence improving.

One of the employees Quyen Nguyen said, "I mean I feel it a little, but you know, you never know. It's hard to tell."

She is certainly hoping the President is right on target with his assesment of the economy.

"I'm hoping he's right, everybody's hoping he's right, right?"

Remember, economists say the best way to help get our economy back on track is to go out and spend.

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