Consumer spending rose in 2012, but not by as much as the year before. In December, these shoppers were out and about in Glendale, Calif.
Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images
January 31, 2013 The year ended on a strong note, with personal incomes up 2.6 percent in December alone. But over all of 2012, growth in both incomes and spending was less than the increases in 2011. The week's big economic news comes Friday when we'll hear how many jobs were created in January.
Shoppers in Manhattan on Christmas Eve last month.
Keith Bedford /Reuters /Landov
January 15, 2013 Consumers were still in a spending mood in December, even as lawmakers battled over the budget. Meanwhile, wholesale prices fell slightly. Those are both good signs for the economy.
Shoppers at a K-B Toy store in northern Virginia last month.
Paul J. Richards /AFP/Getty Images
December 21, 2012 The increases add to signs that the economy continues to rebound from the 2007-09 recession and the slow recovery that followed.
Nov. 17: A sign in a Staten Island storefront tells a lot. It was still closed because of the damage done by Superstorm Sandy in late October.
Mario Tama/Getty Images
November 30, 2012 Many in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic couldn't get to stores and were out of work for at least a short time because of the destruction Sandy wrought. That dampened spending and cut into incomes.
Hitting the mall: Spending rose in September.
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
October 29, 2012 There was a 0.8 percent rise from August to September. Since consumer spending accounts for more than two-thirds of economic activity, it is crucial.
Higher prices at the pump meant the amount of money consumers spent went up last month.
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
September 28, 2012 Spending went up, but largely because gasoline cost more — not due to stronger demand.
July 31, 2012 The news on spending is a sign that consumers remain cautious even as their incomes are on the rise.
May 15, 2012 Dropping gas prices helped hold inflation down. Meanwhile, April consumer spending may have been slowed because warm weather in March encouraged folks to get out their wallets then.
April 30, 2012 A large 0.9 percent gain in consumer spending from January to February was followed by a more modest 0.3 percent increase from February to March, the Bureau of Economic Analysis says.
March 30, 2012 The news could be a sign that consumers are feeling better about how the economy is doing, and are willing to spend more even if their incomes are rising only slowly.
March 1, 2012 There were 2,000 fewer first-time claims for unemployment last week than in the week before. Meanwhile, consumer spending rose 0.2 percent in January from December.
October 28, 2011 Analysts wonder whether the spending surge can be sustained if savings are being depleted.
September 30, 2011 The 0.1 percent dip in income was the weakest showing for any month since October 2009.
August 29, 2011 Spending had dipped 0.1 percent in June from May. That had raised concerns about whether consumers — who buy about 70 percent of all goods and services — might pull an already weak economy down further.
August 2, 2011 Americans put more of their money into savings in June, at the expense of consumer spending — and that came as a surprise to analysts. The month's drop in spending was the first in nearly two years.
NPR thanks our sponsors
Become an NPR sponsor