Americans are spending more than predicted


U.S. consumer spending in November rose more than had been forecast, amid increased demand for recreational goods and utilities as the holiday shopping season began.

The Commerce Department reported Friday that consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of economic activity in the United States, rose 0.6 percent in November.

Economists predicted a consumer spending increase of 0.5 percent in November, after a 0.3 percent rise in October.

When adjusted for inflation, consumer spending increased 0.4 percent last month, after being unchanged in October.

According to CNBC, “The report added to bullish data on the labor market, manufacturing and housing in painting a strong picture of the economy as the year winds down.”

A government report released Thursday revealed that the U.S. economy grew at a 3.2 percent annualized rate in the third quarter. Growth estimates for the fourth quarter are currently as high as a 3.3 percent.

The prospect of individual income tax cuts included in the newly-passed Republican tax reform plan could also prompt a rise in consumer spending.

The Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge rose to an eight-month high, signaling economic vitality that should have the central bank maintaining its plan to gradually raise interest rates in 2018.

“The numbers bode well for the holidays and for the overall economy,” CNBC reported.

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