Record High Jump in Consumer Spending Despite Income Decline

Young person with protective face mask buying groceries.
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U.S. household spending lurched upward in May as the economy reopened.

Consumer spending rose 8.2 percent compared with April, the sharpest increase in Commerce Department data that stretches back six decades.

That was actually below expectations, however. Economists surveyed by Econoday had forecast an 8.6 percent gain.,

April’s change in consumer spending was revised up to a decline of 12.6 from the initial report of a 13.6 percent decline.

Consumer spending surged by a record in May — while remaining below pre-pandemic levels — as Americans spent relief payments and ventured out of their homes to newly reopened stores and restaurants.

Incomes fell in April by 4.2 percent, largely because the prior month was inflated by the federal government’s $1,200 relief payments. Economists had expected a larger drop. In April, personal incomes jumped by 10.5 percent.

Wages and salaries jumped 2.7 percent, the largest increase since 1993, following a record 7.6 percent drop in April.



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