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US consumer spending slows in January

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by Kay Mitchell

The Commerce Department has reported a further rise in consumer spending in the US for the month of January, albeit slower than expected.

Spending grew 0.2% in the month after rising by 0.5% in December. While it represented the seventh consecutive monthly rise, it was the weakest pace since June.

Consumer spending is closely monitored as it accounts for approximately 70% of total economic output.

However, spending slowed despite the largest increase in incomes in more than 18 months.

Personal incomes surged 1% in January – exceeding analysts expectations – and follows a 0.4% gain the previous month.

In related news, last week the Commerce Department revealed the US economy grew by an annualised 2.8% in the October to December period – lower than the first estimate of 3.2%.

The growth rate was also lower than the 3.3% expected by most analysts.

Today’s estimate is the second reading, a third and final estimate will be available on March 25.

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News posted: February 28, 2011

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