WASHINGTON — Consumers slowed the growth in their spending in November and income growth was flat, two worrisome signs at the start of the holiday shopping season.
Consumer spending rose 0.2
Incomes were unchanged in November after gains of 0.5
Consumers are expected to restrain their spending in the fourth quarter, which will drag overall economic growth. So far, spending in the holiday shopping season has not been as strong as last year. That has prompted some stores to offer better deals and incentives such as free shipping.
The weakness in income growth reflected a 0.1
The personal saving rate dipped to 5.5
Inflation, as measured by a gauge tied to spending, climbed 1.4
The Fed boosted a key rate by a quarter-point last week, only the second increase in a year, and projected a possible three rate increases for 2017.
So far this holiday season, retailers have pared down their inventories and offered more exclusive merchandise in a bid to avoid having to offer bigger discounts in coming weeks. But so far, shoppers have shown a willingness to wait.