US consumer spending unchanged in May

| June 27, 2011
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The Commerce Department has today reported consumer spending in the US was flat in May.

This was the first month since September 2009 that there was no growth, surprising analysts who had expected a 0.1% rise.

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

However, many analysts said consumers have been squeezed due to higher petrol prices. Oil prices have since fallen back so consumer spending may start to increase in the coming months.

Meanwhile, the Commerce Department also said personal incomes rose 0.3% in May while disposable incomes increased 0.2%.

In related news, last week the Commerce Department said the US economy grew by annualised 1.9% in the first quarter.

Economic growth is slowing in the world’s largest economy as the housing market remains depressed and unemployment remains stubbornly high.

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