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Rabu, 03 Agustus 2011

Consumer Spending in U.S. Unexpectedly Falls for First Time in Two Years - Bloomberg

U.S. consumer spending unexpectedly dropped in June for the first time in almost two years and savings climbed, adding to evidence that the slump in hiring is hurting household confidence.

Purchases declined 0.2 percent after a 0.1 percent gain the prior month, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The median estimate of 77 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for a 0.1 percent increase. Incomes grew at the slowest pace since November.

The lack of jobs combined with wage gains that have failed to keep pace with inflation raise the risk of further cuts in consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of the world’s largest economy. Companies like Newell Rubbermaid Inc. (NWL) are among those cutting forecasts for the year.

“Consumers ended the quarter on a pretty poor note,” said John Herrmann, a senior fixed-income strategist at State Street Global Markets LLC in Boston, who projected spending would drop. “The third quarter is looking very soft too. Consumers are facing lackluster wage growth in this phase of still-high gas prices.”

Stocks dropped, erasing year-to-date gains on mounting concern the economy was faltering. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index tumbled 2.6 percent to 1,254.05 at the 4 p.m. close in New York. Treasury securities rose, sending the yield on the benchmark 10-year note down to 2.61 percent from 2.75 percent late yesterday.
Survey Results

Projections for spending in the Bloomberg survey ranged from an increase of 0.4 percent to a drop of 0.3 percent. The Commerce Department revised the May spending figure from a reading previously reported as being little changed.

Incomes climbed 0.1 percent in June following a 0.2 percent gain the prior month that was revised down. Economists had forecast incomes would rise 0.2 percent, according to the Bloomberg survey. Read More

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