[00:08.09]When it comes to the slowing economy,
[00:10.41]Ellen Spero isn't biting her nails just yet.
[00:14.13]But the 47-year-old manicurist isn't cutting,
[00:17.67]filing or polishing as many nails as she'd like to, either.
[00:21.92]Most of her clients spend $12 to $50 weekly,
[00:26.72]but last month two longtime customers
[00:29.38]suddenly stopped showing up.
[00:31.91]Spero blames the softening economy.
[00:34.94]"I'm a good economic indicator," she says.
[00:37.78]"I provide a service that people can do without
[00:40.59]when they're concerned about saving some dollars."
[00:43.68]So Spero is downscaling,
[00:46.90]shopping at middle-brow Dillard's department store
[00:49.50]near her suburban Cleveland home,
[00:51.81]instead of Neiman Marcus.
[00:53.93]"I don't know if other clients are going to
[00:56.07]abandon me, too," she says.
[00:58.99]Even before Alan Greenspan's admission
[01:01.00]that America's red-hot economy is cooling,
[01:04.45]lots of working folks had already seen
[01:06.72]signs of the slowdown themselves.
[01:09.44]From car dealerships to Gap outlets,
[01:12.27]sales have been lagging for months
[01:14.29]as shoppers temper their spending.
[01:17.87]who last year took in 24 percent of their revenue
[01:21.30]between Thanksgiving and Christmas,
[01:23.84]the cautious approach is coming at a crucial time.
[01:27.97]Already, experts say, holiday sales are off 7 percent
[01:32.19]from last year's pace.
[01:33.93]But don't sound any alarms just yet.
[01:36.83]Consumers seem only mildly concerned, not panicked,
[01:41.27]and many say they remain optimistic
[01:43.47]about the economy's long-term prospects,
[01:46.48]even as they do some modest belt-tightening.
[01:50.31]Consumers say they're not in despair because,
[01:53.06]despite the dreadful headlines,
[01:55.07]their own fortunes still feel pretty good.
[01:58.85]Home prices are holding steady in most regions.
[02:03.54]"there's a new gold rush happening
[02:05.37]in the $4 million to $10 million range,
[02:08.47]predominantly fed by Wall Street bonuses,"
[02:11.12]says broker Barbara Corcoran.
[02:13.98]In San Francisco,
[02:15.49]prices are still rising even
[02:17.21]as frenzied overbidding quiets.
[02:20.03]"Instead of 20 to 30 offers,
[02:22.36]now maybe you only get two or three," says John Tealdi,
[02:26.70]a Bay Area real-estate broker.
[02:28.92]And most folks still feel pretty comfortable
[02:31.63]about their ability to find and keep a job.
[02:35.59]Many folks see silver linings to this slowdown.
[02:39.23]Potential home buyers would cheer
[02:41.35]for lower interest rates.
[02:43.03]Employers wouldn't mind a little fewer bubbles
[02:45.67]in the job market.
[02:47.79]Many consumers seem to have been influenced
[02:50.20]by stock-market swings,
[02:52.11]which investors now view
[02:53.34]as a necessary ingredient to a sustained boom.
[02:57.27]Diners might see an upside, too.
[03:00.01]Getting a table at Manhattan's hot
[03:01.83]new Alain Ducasse restaurant used to be impossible.
[03:06.16]Not anymore. For that, Greenspan & Co.
[03:10.02]may still be worth toasting.内容来自 听力课堂网：http://www.tingclass.net/show-8686-251453-1.html