Insider Q&A: Higher pay needed to support stronger US growth

Sluggish pay raises have been an Achilles' heel for American workers since the Great Recession ended more than eight years ago - and a major headwind for faster economic growth. As a result, many people are spending less than they otherwise would. That trend, in turn, contributes to slower overall growth in the U.S. economy, because consumers account for roughly 70 percent of economic activity. 

Dan North, senior economist for Euler Hermes North America, spoke with The Associated Press about how income after taxes - what analysts call disposable personal income - isn't keeping pace with consumer spending growth.