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March 1, 2010    

US consumer spending up 0.5% in January

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by Kay Murchie
”US

According to the Commerce Department, US consumer spending rose faster than expected in January by 0.5% - the fourth consecutive monthly rise.

The rise in consumer spending, which makes up for more than two-thirds of overall economic activity in the US, was better than expectations of 0.4%.

Meanwhile, the data said personal incomes crept up 0.1% - after a rise of 0.3% in December. However, this was well below analysts’ expectations of a 0.4% increase.

Commenting on the data, Scott Hoyt, senior director of consumer economics for Moody’s Economy.com, said: “The question of where consumers are going to get the cash needed to grow their spending and put their financial houses in order was again brought to the forefront by the most recent income and spending data.”

Last week, the Commerce Department revealed the world’s no.1 economy grew at a faster rate in the fourth quarter than previous estimates showed.

According to official figures, the US economy grew by an annual 5.9% between the October and December period, rather than the 5.7% previously estimated.

For the whole of 2009, GDP declined at an unrevised 2.4% - this represented the largest full-year contraction since the 10.9% fall after the Second World War.

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