Consumer Spending Slows

Thursday, May 13, 2004 | 10:40 AM

Is the consumer getting tired, or is it it merely a matter of zero % financing going away from autos? I assume durable goods will suffer as home construction, refis, and sales slow.

U.S. consumer spending cooled in April and signs of modest increases in inflation mounted. The Commerce Department reported that sales by U.S. retailers fell by 0.5% last month, after jumping by 2% in March from the month before. Driving down sales in April was a 1.8% decline in spending on automobiles. Without autos, overall retail sales would have gone down by 0.1% in April after a 1.8% increase the month before.

Coming after such robust sales growth in March, economists were reluctant to make too much of the April decline in spending. David Resler, economist with Nomura Securities International in New York, noted that retail sales outside of the auto sector grew at their fastest pace since 1983 during the first quarter and were bound to slow down.

Food for thought.

Consumer Spending Slows; Producer Prices Rise 0.7%
WALL STREET JOURNAL, May 13, 2004 11:28 a.m.,,SB108445039528910515,00.html

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