US consumer spending up 0.2% in December
According to the Commerce Department, US consumer spending rose by just 0.2% in December after a 0.7% rise in November.
The rise in consumer spending, which makes up for more than two-thirds of overall economic activity in the US, was slightly under analysts expectations of a 0.3% gain.
For 2009, consumer spending fell 0.4% – the biggest drop since 1938.
Meanwhile, the data also said personal incomes expanded 0.1% in the month compared with 0.4% the previous month.
Last week, it was revealed that the US economy grew 5.7% in the final three months of 2009 – the fastest pace in six years and higher than analysts expectations.
The US economy emerged from recession in the third quarter after experiencing growth of 2.2% and the figures clearly show that after enduring the longest and deepest downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s, the economy is recovering well.
However, rising unemployment remains a concern in the world’s largest economy and concerns of a renewed downturn are having an impact on spending.
In other US news today, the Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Index grew to 58.4 in January, up from 55.9 the previous month – exceeding expectations of a reading of 55.6 and the best level since August 2004.