U.S. consumer spending increases 0.4 percent in January

Nathan Andrada – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Washington, DC, United States (4E) – U.S. consumers increased in January, ramping up spending for services while their purchases of physical goods fell for the second consecutive month.

Household purchases, which comprise around 70 percent of the economy, slightly climbed 0.4 percent, after a 0.1 percent gain in the previous month that was lesser than earlier estimated, according to Commerce Department data released Monday in Washington.

The median forecast of 76 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News forecast a 0.1 percent increase. Incomes rose 0.3 percent.

The increase in spending helped by purchases of services, which climbed 0.9 percent. The increase was the largest gain since October 2001, helped by higher health-care spending, according to the Commerce Department.

Spending on goods, which includes items and products made to last at least three years, fell for the second straight month. Overall spending increased 3.5 percent in January from the previous year, according to the report.

Purchases of durable goods, including automobiles, fell 0.2 percent after adjusting for inflation after falling 2.2 percent in December. Purchases of non-durable goods, which include gasoline, slid 0.7 percent.

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