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Consumer Spending

March 13, 2013 | By Don Lee
WASHINGTON -- Consumer spending grew at a surprisingly strong pace last month, another encouraging sign that the economy may be gaining momentum despite the hit from higher taxes and gas prices and fears of government spending cuts. Retail sales rose 1.1% in February from the prior month, seasonally adjusted, thanks in large part to robust gains for cars and building materials and at Internet stores, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday. The overall sales rate increase was the biggest in five months and about double what many analysts had forecast.
March 1, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- Consumers spent slightly more in January than the previous month even as their income plummeted by the largest amount in 20 years because of the "fiscal cliff," the Commerce Department said Friday. People boosted their spending by saving less money as they sought to offset tax increases that took effect. The personal saving rate in January was 2.4% -- down from 6.4% in December -- marking the lowest monthly level since late 2007. Personal consumption expenditures rose 0.2% in January following a 0.1% rise in December.
December 31, 2012 | By Anh Do, Los Angeles Times
At her store in Chinatown, Tracy Tieu replaces red and green Christmas trinkets with red and gold Lunar New Year decorations as she greets shoppers fresh from Las Vegas. A mother strokes a jade dragon leaping from a dark wood emblem. A man and his wife unfurl scrolls bearing symbols of wealth. A student buys assorted little Buddhas, lining them up by belly size. Inside the shop, Wing Ha Hing Gifts & Arts, Asian travelers this past weekend talk about how many aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents they expect to host at noisy family gatherings.
December 21, 2012 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- Consumer spending rose 0.4% in November after a drop the previous month attributed to  Superstorm Sandy, the Commerce Department reported Friday. Personal income also increased last month, jumping 0.6% from October, giving consumers more money in their wallets to spend. The new figures showed Americans shrugged off concerns last month about the large tax increases and government spending cuts looming Jan. 1, known as the fiscal cliff. Personal consumption expenditures increased $41.3 billion in November after falling by $20.2 billion, or 0.1%, in October, the Commerce Department said.
November 30, 2012 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- Consumer spending dipped in October, the first decline in five months, as Superstorm Sandy took a big bite out of paychecks in the Northeast. Personal consumption expenditures fell by $20.2 billion, or 0.2%, last month compared with September, the Commerce Department said Friday. Income growth was basically flat in October, increasing $800 million, or less than 0.1%. Quiz: How much do you know about the 'fiscal cliff'? Both figures came in below analyst expectations of about a 0.1% rise in spending and a 0.2% increase in personal income.
October 29, 2012 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- Consumer spending rose 0.8% in September, the third straight monthly gain and the biggest increase since February, the Commerce Department said Monday. Personal consumption expenditures increased $87.9 billion last month after increasing a revised $59.9 billion, or 0.5%, in August. Consumer spending has been up each month since coming in flat in June following a decrease of 0.2% the month before. September's figure came in above analyst expectations of an increase of  0.6%.
September 28, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
Americans spent more in August than the month before, buying more cars and paying up for gas. But many funded their expenditures by raiding their savings accounts. Consumer spending, a major contributor to the country's economic activity, increased 0.5%, or $57.2 billion, to a total of $11.2 trillion. The gauge had risen 0.4% in July, according to the Commerce Department . But personal income only grew 0.1%, the same amount as in July. The savings rate slipped to 3.7% of after-tax income after reaching 4.1% the previous month.
August 30, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
Consumer spending, a top economic motivator, made its biggest jump in five months - but uncertainty over rising gas prices, still-high unemployment, a looming fiscal cliff and the election threaten to keep growth subdued. Personal consumption expenditures rose 0.4% to $46 billion in July, the Commerce Department said. In the previous month, the measure barely rose. The uptick in spending likely resulted from rising incomes, which grew 0.3% in July - slightly less than in June but continuing the gauge's 8-month run of gains.
July 16, 2012 | By Don Lee
Retail sales fell in June for the third straight month, knocking down economic growth projections for the second quarter and dimming the outlook for hiring in the near term. The 0.5% drop from May was broad-based; consumers pulled back on spending for cars, electronics, furniture, building materials and other goods, the Commerce Department reported Monday. The report surprised analysts, who were expecting a small increase in retail sales after two prior months of declines.
July 13, 2012 | By Jim Puzzanghera, This post has been corrected, as indicated below
WASHINGTON -- Consumer confidence has fallen to its lowest level of the year this month as discouraging economic news here and abroad erodes Americans' view of the recovery. The preliminary reading for July from the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Survey of Consumers fell to 72 from June's figure of 73.2, the second straight monthly decline, Reuters reported Friday. Economists surveyed separately by Bloomberg had expected the confidence reading to tick up to 73.5.
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