Monday, December 3, 2007

Consumer Spending Slowed In October

Growth in consumer spending slowed to the lowest level in 4 months in October, the Commerce Department reported Friday. Spending increased a mere 0.2%, the smallest increase since June. This is slightly below the expected increase of 0.3%. Individual incomes grew by 0.2% as well, which is the slowest pace in 6 months and slower than expected. Gross domestic product increased by 3.9% in Q3, but economists believe the current quarter will not be as robust, with growth possibly slowing to 1% annual rate.

Construction dropped 0.8%, in the 20th consecutive month of declines for the industry and the biggest decline since July. The slowdown in the housing industry may lead to more layoffs, and even weaker consumer spending. Rising inflation is scaring off consumers and, despite a relatively strong beginning, retailers are bracing for a tough holiday season this year.

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