CONSUMER SPENDING POSTS STRONG ADVANCE BUT INCOME GROWTH DISAPPOINTS

November personal income and spending data are out.

Consumer spending rose 0.5% from a month earlier in November, in line with the consensus Wall Street estimate. October spending growth was revised up to 0.4% from the previous 0.3% estimate.

Personal incomes, however, rose only 0.2%, below expectations for a 0.5% advance. In October, incomes fell 0.1%.

“The weaker tone in consumer income suggests that despite recent improvement in labour market activity, incomes have thus far failed to rebound substantially, leaving consumers dependent on savings to finance the recent pickup in spending activity — a largely unsustainable trend,” says Gennadiy Goldberg, a U.S. strategist at TD Securities. “While the 0.5% rise in real November spending activity should help buoy economic growth, if incomes continue to lag, the consumer spending tailwind to economic growth may begin to dissipate. We nevertheless expect consumer incomes to rebound in the coming months as economic growth shifts up a gear and the recently substantial pace of job creation leaves more income in consumers’ pockets.”

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