WASHINGTON - Consumers earned less and spent less for a second straight year in 2010. The government data shows how Americans are struggling after the worst recession since the Great Depression.
The Labor Department says in its annual survey of consumer behaviour that spending fell 2 per cent last year, only the second decrease since the government began the survey in 1984.
People spent less last year on food, cut back on entertainment and eating in restaurants and gave less to charity. At the same time, they paid more for gas and health care — trends that have continued this year.
Incomes fell 0.6 per cent in 2010 after a 1.1 per cent drop in 2009.
Consumer spending and income have increased only modestly this year.