Consumer Spending Remained Healthy in Early Summer

Washington, DC, July 31, 2019-Consumers continued to spend at a healthy clip and stayed confident heading into the summer, while inflation remained soft, reports the Wall Street Journal.

“Personal-consumption expenditures-a measure of household spending on everything from airline tickets to furniture-increased in June to a seasonally adjusted 0.3% from the prior month, the Commerce Department said Tuesday.

“Meanwhile, a measure of consumer sentiment rebounded in July, suggesting Americans remain confident about the U.S. economy despite persistent trade tensions and slowing global growth. The Conference Board, a private research group, said its index of consumer confidence jumped to 135.7 in July, up from 124.3 in June.

“The readings were the last major economic data-points that Fed officials saw before their policy meeting Tuesday and Wednesday. With the spending and inflation figures broadly in line with economists’ expectations, the data are unlikely to give the central bank pause on lowering their benchmark fed-funds rate from its current range of 2.25% to 2.5%.

“‘These numbers are consistent with the story that the Fed has been telling, in fact, about how the fundamentals look good, but the risks are still to the downside,’ said Augustine Faucher, chief economist of The PNC Financial Services Group.”