U.S. Consumer Spending in November Boosts Economy

U.S. consumer spending accelerated in November at the start of the holiday shopping season, raising prospects for economic growth in the fourth quarter. Spending climbed 0.3 percent after remaining level in October, according to Commerce Department data. Consumer spending encompasses more than 66 percent of U.S. economic activity, and the gain dovetailed with economists’ predictions. The October reading was revised downward from a previously disclosed 0.1-percent increase, while September spending was slightly stronger than reported earlier. The spending resurgence in November was likely tempered by unseasonably mild weather causing a decline in demand for utilities, but rising wages from a tightening labor market lifted spending. Outlays on long-lasting durable products, non-durable items, and services all rose in November. Economists could be encouraged to slightly raise their estimates of fourth-quarter GDP on the strength of the November spending boost, which have been hovering around 2 percent.

From “U.S. Consumers Lend Economy a Boost in November”
Reuters (12/22/15) Mutikani, Lucia; Saphir, Ann