Consumer spending was little changed in August as income growth cooled, pointing to a softening in consumption after a run of strong gains.
Bloomberg reported that the August result followed a 0.4% advance the prior month that was revised up, Commerce Department figures showed today (Sept. 30). Income climbed 0.2%, while inflation-adjusted spending dropped for the first time since January.
The data are consistent with projections that consumer purchases will provide a smaller but respectable contribution to economic growth this quarter after the strongest quarterly advance since 2014. While robust employment and healthier finances are underpinning household spending, bigger paychecks would help provide an even larger boost.
It was a soft month for consumer spending following a strong one, and it’s not anything to get worried about,” said Tom Simons, a money-market economist at Jefferies LLC in New York. “The consumer is still going to be the driver of growth this quarter although not as much as the second quarter. Based on slowly accelerating wage growth and recent data on confidence, I’m optimistic about the outlook for consumer spending.”
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