In a mixed bag of news for retailers, consumer spending rose in July to its highest point since January, while the following month consumer confidence fell to its lowest point all year.
July consumer spending rose by 0.8 percent, doubling June’s rise, according to the Commerce Department. At the same time, inflation rates hit 2.4 percent, the highest figure in four years. Taking this into account, consumer spending still rose, but only by 0.5 percent. Income also rose, showing a 0.5 percent gain which, adjusted for inflation and post-tax income, totals 0.3 percent.
In the meantime, the Conference Board Consumer Index dropped sharply in August after showing gains in July. It now stands at 99.6, falling from 107 in July. The Present Situation Index and Expectations Index also dropped by 10.8 and 5.1 points respectively. Responses to the Consumer Confidence Survey put those characterizing conditions as “good” at 26.1 percent, down from 27.3 percent and those describing jobs as “hard to get” at 21.1 percent, up from 19.6 percent.
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