I recently read that there's a point (unemployment rate) at which the employed stop spending. I guess when we see enough people in our peer groups lose their jobs, we start to feel like our jobs are in danger, whether or not that's actually the case. Maybe the US passed that point in late '09. Unfortunately, I find it hard to glean anything from govt. data with all noise from stimulus spending, so I'm stuck trying to glean insights from friends in the business...and they've all seen a late 09 decline.