Consumer Spending Grows 2.6% in November 2013
According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, real consumer spending in November 2013 was $10,868 billion real dollars (seasonally adjusted at an annual rate). As is the case almost every month, real consumer spending hit a new all-time high in November. Spending in November 2013 was 2.6% more than it was in November 2012. Despite stagnant growth in incomes, this is the fastest rate of month-over-month growth since July 2011. This is the fourth time in six months that the month-over-month rate of growth has been 2.0% or more. However, the historical average month-over-month rate of growth is 3.3%. So, spending growth is still running quite a bit below normal. The annual rate of change remained at 2.0% for the sixth time in seven months. With annual growth in incomes relatively flat, accelerating growth in consumer spending is being fueled by additional debt. Incomes need to grow faster to make the accelerating growth in consumer spending sustainable.
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 materials; custom processors; food and beverage processing; forming and fabricating (non-auto); hardware; HVAC; industrial motors, hydraulics and mechanical components; machinery and equipment manufacturing; medical; metalcutting job shops; oil, gas field and mining machinery; power generation; primary metals; and printing.
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