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Consumers Pull Back Spending
Wednesday, October 9, 2013 7:00 AM

Consumer Spending

Americans' self-reports of daily spending averaged $84 throughout September, down sharply from August's $95 and the lowest monthly figure since February. The August average had been the highest in any month in five years. Though down, the September average remains above the levels Gallup measured from 2009-2012, and is the highest for any September since 2008.

In the six years Gallup has tracked spending, the September estimates have typically been lower than the August estimates. Thus, last month's decline is not unexpected, although it is a significantly larger decline than what Gallup recorded in prior years.

The August increase in spending, observed in Gallup's self-reported measure and in government estimates, was clearly an encouraging sign for the economy. However, the higher spending levels Gallup measured in August were not sustained in September. With consumer spending such a key component of U.S. economic growth, the pullback suggests a full recovery from the recession may still be a ways off.

 

(Source: Gallup, Inc.)