U.S. Consumer Spending May Be Slowing Down

September 17, 2020

Consumer spending appears to have slowed in August, causing some worry that the economic recovery may be faltering. Official spending data has not been released yet, but core retail sales, which generally correspond closely to the consumer spending component of GDP, fell last month. The 0.1% decline ends a streak of growth in recent months. Economists had forecast an increase of 0.5% in August.

The Commerce Department also revised July’s growth down to 0.9% from the previously reported 1.4%

Economists have noted that the additional unemployment payments of $600 expired at the start of August, and may have contributed to the month’s sluggish retail sales. An additional $300 benefit was authorized by the White House, but not all states agreed to implement the program, and even those that did saw a delay in getting the payments out. 

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