Consumers Earned Less, Spent More in September

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The economy may have just taken a step backwards.

Personal income for consumers fell by 0.1% in September, the first decrease since July 2009, according to new data from the U.S. Commerce Department.

Part of the reason for this decrease is simply a matter of paperwork.

“The decline in personal income in September was due largely to a drop in unemployment insurance benefits, which were temporarily elevated in August by the payment of backlogged claims,” said U.S. Commerce Department Under Secretary for Economic Affairs Rebecca Blank in a press release.

Paperwork issues aside, the rest of the data from the Commerce Department’s monthly report is equally disheartening.

Disposable income suffered a decrease of 0.2%, and consumer spending increased by just 0.1% in September, falling short of what most economists had predicted and significantly less than a 0.3% increase the month before.

If the economy is recovering, consumers certainly don’t seem to realize it.

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