Consumer spending slows in October after booming September
Why it matters: The data suggests that U.S. consumers pumped the brakes after a strong September that saw retail sales exceed prior estimates.
The big picture: Spending in September was even stronger than originally thought. The data was revised up by 0.2 percentage points to 0.9%.
- The October data showed economic activity was cooler, though still strong — the type of development Federal Reserve officials want to see.
- The slowdown in retail sales last month is the first decline since March. The data is not adjusted for inflation.
Details: Consumers cut back spending in most categories, including at furniture stores (-2%), motor vehicle and auto shops (-1%), and sporting goods stores (-0.8%).
- Spending ticked higher at health and personal care stores (+1%), food and beverage shops (+0.6%) and electronics stores (+0.6%).
Worth noting: Excluding sales of cars, auto parts and gasoline, retail sales rose slightly by 0.1% in October.