Economic News Blog
Posted by: Steven Kline, Jr. 1. March 2016

Consumer Spending Continues to Grow Slower

Real consumer spending in January 2015 was $11,387 billion real dollars (seasonally adjusted at an annual rate). As is the case almost every month, this was an all-time high in consumer spending. The month-over-month rate of growth in consumer spending was 2.9 percent. This was the sixth month in a row that the rate of growth was below the historic average of 3.3 percent. Also, it was the fourth month in a row that the rate of growth was below 3.0 percent. The annual rate of growth decelerated to 3.0 percent. It has decelerated for six straight months and is growing at its slowest rate since January 2015.

However, durable goods spending increased 6.1 percent in January. The month-over-month rate of growth in January was the fastest since February 2015. The annual rate of growth continued to decelerate though, slowing to 5.6 percent. The annual rate of growth has decelerated since May 2015. Durable goods spending was 13.3 percent of all consumer spending, which was an all-time high. 

Real consumer spending (or its sub-components such as medical care spending) is an important leading for a number of durable goods end markets: construction materialscustom processorsdurable goodsfood/beverage processingforming/fabricating (non-auto)hardwareHVACindustrial motors/hydraulics/mechanical componentsmachinery/equipment manufacturingmedicalmetalcutting job shopsoil/gas field/mining machinerypower generationprimary metals; and printing.

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