IBJNews

September consumer spending weakens while incomes dip

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Americans slowed their spending in September to the weakest pace in three months and their incomes fell for the first time in 14 months.

Personal spending rose at an annual rate of 0.2 percent in September, the Commerce Department said Monday. That's below the 0.5-percent gains recorded in July and August.

Incomes fell 0.1 percent in September, following a 0.4-percent rise in August that had been pushed higher by the return of extended unemployment benefits.

The weak growth in spending and incomes underscored how fragile the economy remains. Consumers facing high unemployment and slow job growth remain reluctant to spend.

The drop in incomes was the first decline since incomes fell 0.3 percent in July 2009. The August gain had been skewed by the reinstatement of an extended unemployment benefits program, which had temporarily lapsed in July after Republicans had blocked an extension.

Consumer spending is watched closely because it accounts for 70 percent of total economic activity.

The government reported Friday that the economy grew at an annual rate of 2 percent in the July-September quarter. That's only slightly better than 1.7-percent growth in the April-June quarter.

Many economists believe that growth in the current quarter will be little changed from the third quarter.

Consumer spending had helped boost third-quarter growth. It was the best showing since a 4.1-percent rise in consumer spending at the end of 2006, before a severe recession hit.

However, Monday's report suggested the strength occurred in July and August and that spending slowed considerably in September.

The savings rate fell to 5.3 percent in September, the lowest rate since August 2009. But it is still well above the 2.1-percent average savings rate for all of 2007.

An inflation gauge tied to consumer spending rose a slight 0.1 percent in September and was flat after excluding volatile food and energy.

In response to the weak economy, the Federal Reserve this week is expected to announce a program to buy Treasury bonds. The effort is designed to drive interest rates lower and spur economic activity.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. The Walgreens did not get a lot of traffic. It was not located on the corner of the intersection, and not really visible from Emerson. Meanwhile the CVS there is huge and right on the corner. I am guessing a lot of people drove by a million times and never knew the Walgreens was there. Although, with the new Walmart market going in, that area could really see a lot of increase in traffic soon.

  2. You folks don't have a clue. There is a legal way to enter this country and to get aid. This left unchecked could run us to ruin quickly. I also heard that 'supporters' were getting major $$ to take them in? Who's monitoring this and guess who pays the bill? I support charitable organizations... but this is NOT the way to do it!

  3. Apparently at some time before alcohol has been served at the fair. The problem is that beer or wine used to be a common drink for people before soft drinks and was not thought to be that unusual. Since many folks now only drink to see how much they can drink or what kind of condition they can end up in it becomes more problematic. Go to Europe and its no big deal just as if you had sodas of milk to drink everyday. Its using common sense that is lacking now days.

  4. To address the epic failure of attracting race fans to both the Indy 500 and Brickyard 400 would take too much of my time to write. Bottom line Boles is clueless and obviously totally out of touch with the real paying fan base. I see nothing but death spin coming for the Brickyard, just like Indy. Get somebody in a place of power that understands what race fans want.

  5. I am a race fan through & through. It doesn't matter if it's Indy cars or Nascar. I love a great race. I go to several other tracks each year and you can see the entire track. I know Indy has tradition, but fans want to see the entire race. I sit in the Penthouse, am almost 60 years old, and would like to see a better TV screen in turn 1 so you can see the entire race. Then I think Indy needs to install an escalator so us old folks can make it up to the Penthouse and down again if we want more options to purchase food and drinks. Just a race fans opinion. Lights won't make the race any better, but you might be able to see the TV better at night. Turn 1's screen needs replaced with a better and bigger screen.

ADVERTISEMENT