More than ever, the outlook for the U.S. economy is linked to consumer spending. But consumers have gotten harder to predict-and banking deregulation may be a big reason why.

The United States still has vastly more banks, and consequently far more lenders, than any other country, noted economist Rosanne M. Cahn of Credit Suisse First Boston Corp.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.