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Data: Bureau of Economic Analysis via FRED; Chart: Axios Visuals

America’s consumers will not be stopped. Household spending rose in June even more than economists had expected, according to new government data out Friday.

Why it matters: Consumers are dealing with frustration with rising prices, concerns over the spread of COVID-19 variants and the lapsing of stimulus checks. But none of that put a damper on spending.

By the numbers: Personal consumption expenditures increased by 1.0% in June, which was notably stronger than the 0.7% gain expected by economists.

  • Adjusted for inflation, spending was still up 0.5%.
  • Consumption is running at an annualized pace of $15.8 trillion, which is well above pre-pandemic levels.

What they’re saying: "Inflation didn’t stop consumers from spending with abandon," GrantThornton chief economist Diane Swonk said, adding that they "drained their savings."

  • "Consumers reopened their wallets in June as they embraced a summer of spending," Oxford Economics lead U.S. economist Lydia Boussour said. "They splurged on the high-contact services they greatly missed during the pandemic while shunning away from expensive and harder-to-find goods."

Yes, but: "It remains unclear how much the spread of the Delta variant will put a damper on spending gains in August," Swonk writes.

The bottom line: "Consumers defiantly kept spending, even during a surge in outbreaks," Swonk says. "We are learning to live with outbreaks and shift to online and deliveries to avoid contagion. Vaccinations should help to blunt the blow, despite the spread of the Delta variant.”

Go deeper

Retirees will see a jump in social security payments next year

Data: Social Security Administration; Chart: Axios Visuals

Seniors will see the steepest jump in their Social Security payments in 40 years, the government said today — a boost that affects one in five American households.

Why it matters: A worker shortage is pushing up wages alongside rising costs. But those who don't work only feel the higher expenses, so the government is playing catchup with the pandemic-era inflation surge.

7 mins ago - World

U.S. envoy to visit Sudan as "most dangerous" crisis intensifies

The sit-in in Khartoum. Photo: Mahmoud Hjaj/Anadolu Agency via Getty

U.S. envoy for the Horn of Africa Jeffrey Feltman will visit Khartoum this week amid what Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok has called the “worst and most dangerous" crisis of Sudan’s transition to democracy, two sources with direct knowledge tell Axios.

Driving the news: Roughly 2,000-3,000 people had joined a sit-in in Khartoum as of this afternoon, per Reuters, after protesters massed over the weekend to call on the military to bring down the government. The protests came just four weeks after a failed military coup.

Trump sues National Archives, Jan. 6 committee to block records request

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Trump filed a lawsuit Monday seeking to block the National Archives from releasing White House records to the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, citing executive privilege.

Why it matters: It's the latest escalation in Trump's campaign to disrupt the committee's sweeping probe into the circumstances surrounding Jan. 6, including his actions and communications leading up to the Capitol attack.