Americans save more, spend less. Will it last?

Evidence of a new consumer mindset keeps piling up. Today's New York Times front page reports Americans are becoming savers. When they shop, it is for necessities. They are spending less on impulse purchases.

"We have gone in a radically short time from conspicuous consumption to conspicuous saving," Anne Brouwer senior partner at Chicago-based retail consultants McMillan/Doolitle, LLP, told me last week. "Everybody, retailers included, recognizes this is a major change -- lasting change."