ConsumerSpending

US Consumer Spending Slowed in March, Income Rose

Americans increased their spending more slowly in March, suggesting some are worried that their paychecks aren't growing fast enough. Consumer spending increased just 0.3 percent last month after a 0.9 percent gain in February. Income grew 0.4 percent following a 0.3 percent gain in February.

Why You Should Be Happy About 2.2% GDP Growth

The federal government says GDP grew at a 2.2% rate in the first quarter, and many pundits are calling that number a disappointment: Here's a primer on exactly what the GDP growth rate is, and why 2.2% is nothing to be bummed about.

U.S. Gasoline Prices Are Now Cheaper Than a Year Ago

After dropping for most of the month, gas prices are now lower in much of the U.S. than they were a year ago, possibly part of a larger decline in that could lift consumer confidence ahead of the summer driving season.

Initial Jobless Claims Hit 4-Year Low as Hiring Gets Stronger

The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits fell to a four-year low last week, suggesting employers kept hiring in March at a healthy pace. Weekly applications dropped 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 357,000, the Labor Department said Thursday.

Consumers Spend More After Incomes Rise Again

Consumers earned a little more in January and spent most of the extra money. The modest gains should keep the economy growing slowly. But they disappointed economists, who were expecting bigger increases after two months of strong hiring. The Commerce Department said Thursday that consumer spending increased 0.2 percent in January.

Should You Take That Retailer's Credit Card Deal?

Chances are you've been pitched a retail card more than once. Usually it goes something like this: "Will you be saving 10% using your [name of store] card today?" The hope is you'll find the prospect of a discount alluring enough to sign up. But should you?

Retail Stocks Are a Bad Buy: Why the Rally Won't Last

The stock market's recent bounce has a lot of folks looking for a piece of the action. And with retail stocks shooting up faster than average, but still cheaper than a year ago, some analysts say now's the time to buy them. They're wrong. Here's why:

Bernanke: Weak Housing Has Hurt Consumer Spending

Ben Bernanke says declines in home prices have forced many Americans to cut back sharply on spending warns that the trend could continue to weigh on the economy for years. The Federal Reserve chairman drew the connection between home values and consumer spending, which fuels 70 percent of economic activity, on Friday during a speech to the National Association of Home Builders in Orlando.

I Love (to Shop for) You: Valentine's Spending to Rise

Chances are, you'll be more generous with your honey this Valentine's Day than last. Consumer spending on the holiday is expected to exceed last year's levels, according to surveys from the National Retail Federation and American Express.

After Holiday Buying Binge Comes a Spending Diet

The holiday season was a heck of a party for retailers, but consumers are now nursing a shopping hangover that will keep them out of the nation's stores in January and February. "Now that those credit card bills are hitting mailboxes, shoppers will cut back in a very significant way," said Britt Beemer of America's Research Group.

Consumer Confidence Index Surges in December

Americans are gaining faith that the economy is on the upswing. The monthly Consumer Confidence Index surged to the highest level since April and is approaching a post-recession peak. The New York-based Conference Board said Tuesday that its Consumer Confidence Index rose almost 10 points to 64.5, up from a revised 55.2 in November.

Spending and Incomes Show Weak November Gains

Consumers spent at a lackluster rate in November as their incomes barely grew, suggesting that U.S. households may struggle to sustain their spending into 2012. Consumer spending rose just 0.1 percent in November, matching the modest October increase, the Commerce Department reported Friday. Incomes also rose 0.1 percent. That was the weakest showing since a 0.1 percent decline in August.

Record Super Saturday Sales Signal a Consumer Rebound

Following a record Black Friday, retail sales hit new heights on Super Saturday Dec. 17 -- the penultimate shopping Saturday before Christmas and a day when retailers trot out themed promotions. It's a sign that many consumers have rebounded from the recession and unleashed their pent-up buying demand.

Economy Ends 2011 Looking Up, Surprisingly

The economy is ending 2011 on a roll. The job market is healthier. Americans are spending lustily on holiday gifts. A long-awaited turnaround for the depressed housing industry may be under way. Gas is cheaper. Factories are busier. Stocks are higher.

How to Avoid 2011's Spending Traps in 2012

In 2011, shoppers were hot -- sometimes too hot -- for bargains, and a little too sensitive to the day's financial news. Savings gurus Jean Chatzky and JB Orecchia weigh in on the year's major spending pitfalls, and how to dodge them in 2012.

As Holiday Season Begins, a Mixed Bag of Economic News

The news from the Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis was mixed Wednesday. Consumer spending rose in October, but just barely. Incomes were up a bit, but savings did too. And employment figures were just conflicted.

We'd Rather Buy iPhones Than Clothes, Report Reveals

Though Americans aren't buying homes, clothes, gas, or furniture, we're still spending on gadgets, according to Tuesday's retail sales report from the Department of Commerce. Overall retail sales rose 0.6% in October, mostly due to higher electronics and appliance sales.

Spending Up, But Incomes Go Nowhere

Americans spent in September at three times the pace of the previous month, even though their incomes barely budged. They financed their spending binges by saving at the lowest level since the start of the Great Recession. The gain was driven by a big rise in purchases of durable goods, such as autos.

Holiday Shopping: Self-Gifting Is On the Rise

Recession-scarred shoppers are tired of cutting back, and they're ready to give in to their pent up spending impulses, experts say. So after a few years of austerity, this holiday season, many people are going to be splurging a bit more on presents for themselves.

Falling Gas Prices Are an Early Holiday Gift for Retailers

Gas prices have finally begun to reflect the falling price of oil, which dipped from nearly $100 a barrel in July to less than $78 now. A gallon of regular averaged $3.408 Tuesday, down from $3.662 a month ago. That's excellent news for the nation's retailers as we approach the holiday shopping season.