US Consumer Spending Fell 0.2% In December In Face Of Virus

In this Nov. 10, 2020 photo, a shopper stands by a display of Samsung 65-inch televisions in a Costco warehouse in Sheridan, Colo. U.S. consumer confidence posted a gain in January, helped by a rise in expectations about the future. The Conference Board reported Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, that its consumer confidence index increased to 89.3, a rebound from December when it had fallen to a reading of 87.1. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

(AP) — U.S. consumers slowed their spending by 0.2% in December, cutting back for a second straight month in a worrisome sign for an economy struggling under the weight of a still out-of-control pandemic.

The decline reported Friday by the Commerce Department followed a seasonally adjusted 0.7% drop in November. It was the latest sign that consumers, whose spending is the primary driver of the U.S. economy, are hunkered down and avoiding traveling, shopping and dining out.

Since making a brief bounce-back from the viral pandemic last spring, consumer spending has barely grown. Sales at retailers have declined for three straight months.


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