Inflation-adjusted spending falls in February
Rapid rebound patterns in the economy may be coming to an end as consumers face a slew of new concerns this year.
Catch up quick: Spending actually fell in the month of February when inflation is taken into account.
By the numbers: While spending rose by 0.2% last month from January, prices rose much faster — 0.6% over the same time.
- Yes, but: Seasonal adjustments to data and high inflation have made the real PCE data series volatile.
The big picture: The Fed is simultaneously trying to fight inflation by raising interest rates while trying to maintain a level of consumer demand that won't tip the economy into a recession.
What to watch: Despite COVID fading as a concern, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last month has now started to weigh on consumers’ minds, impacting consumer sentiment.
The bottom line: The economy’s in a tricky place right now and consumers are taking it all in.