The Huffington Post reports:
For the poorest Americans, this year's holiday season offered little respite from the lingering Great Recession. Despite signs that the American economy has been strengthening in recent months, households grappling with limited means have seen little to no improvement in their fortunes, some economists say.
The latest sign came Thursday as one of the nation's largest dollar store chains -- which caters heavily to customers with low incomes -- said that December sales had been meager, an indication that many families bought fewer toys for children, and likely scrimped to finance necessities, such as groceries, instead.
"On the low end of the spectrum people are still hurting quite a bit," said Chris Christopher, an economist at IHS Global Insight. "The median household income adjusted for inflation has dropped steadily over the past 3 or 4 years. Living paycheck to paycheck is more than a perception, it's a reality."