Consumer Spending Grows 2.9% in March 2014
According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, real consumer spending in March 2014 was $10,979 billion real dollars (seasonally adjusted at an annual rate). Once again, this is a new all-time high for real consumer spending. Spending in March 2014 was 2.9% more than it was in March 2013. This is the fastest rate of month-over-month growth since March 2011. The month-over-month rate of growth has been at or above 2.3% for the last six months. Therefore, the annual rate of change has accelerated since September 2013. While, the annual rate of growth is still below the historical average, the accelerating growth in real consumer spending is a positive sign for manufacturing. Annual growth in incomes is improving, which should lead to further acceleration in consumer spending through the summer.
Real consumer durable goods spending grew at significantly faster month-over-month rate than it had the previous three months. The month-over-month rate of change in March was 6.5% compared to an average of about 3.2% for the previous three months.
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; durable goods; 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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