Consumer Spending in U.S. Increases More Than Forecast
U.S. consumer spending climbed more than forecast in December, even as incomes stagnated, the Commerce Department reported Friday. The findings show new jobs are needed to boost economic expansion. Household purchases rose 0.4 percent, after a 0.6 percent gain the prior month that was larger than previously estimated. The median projection of 81 economists in a Bloomberg survey called for a 0.2 percent rise. Incomes were unchanged, dropping the saving rate to the lowest level in almost a year. The report follows data Thursday that showed household spending rose in the fourth quarter at the fastest pace in three years, helping the economy overcome the fallout from the U.S. government shutdown. At the same time, absent bigger gains in pay, Americans probably will struggle to sustain the pickup into early 2014.