US Consumers Boost Spending 1% As Inflation Remains High

FILE - Shoppers wait in line outside a Chicago downtown retail store as others pass by, Wednesday, May 26, 2021. Fueled by vaccinations and government aid, the U.S. economy grew at a solid 6.5% annual rate last quarter in another sign that the nation has achieved a sustained recovery from the pandemic recession. (AP Photo/Shafkat Anowar, File)

(AP) — American consumers increased their spending by 1% in June — a dose of energy for an economy that is quickly rebounding from the pandemic recession but is facing new risks led by the delta variant of the coronavirus. At the same time, a key inflation barometer that is closely followed by the Federal Reserve surged 3.5% last month from a year earlier. That was the fastest such 12-month surge since 1991. June’s solid increase in consumer spending provided further evidence that consumers are driving a strengthening recovery from the pandemic recession. Friday’s report from the Commerce Department also showed that personal incomes, which provide the fuel for spending, edged up 0.1% in June after two months of big declines, reflecting the waning of several government support programs.

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