NEW YORK — What a tough time to be a teen. The teen consumer, already famed for fickleness, appears to be entering a period of frugality.

With her closets already well stocked and no compelling fashion trend to drive her into the stores, she was in the malls less frequently and buying less during the crucial back-to-school season. Her parents’ stock portfolios are still absorbing vicious assaults, her baby-sitting clients have less money to go out and she’s having a hard time finding a job to make up the difference in her discretionary spending.

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