Consumer Spending For Durables Falls In February

By John S. McClenahen Last month, as new orders for appliances and other manufactured durables were rising, U.S. consumers were spending less on those already made. Data released by the U.S. Commerce Department on March 26 show consumer spending on manufactured durables was at an annual rate of $949.9 billion in February, down just over three-tenths of a percent from January's $952.2 billion rate. Overall consumer spending, which accounts for about two-thirds of the U.S. economy, nevertheless grew last month as increased spending on nondurable goods and services more than offset the decline in spending on durables. Still, the growth in consumer spending was well below the 0.5% gain that economists generally expected. Personal income fared better in February, increasing 0.4%, just above the 0.3% gain economists anticipated.

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