Market Overview

Consumer Spending: Economists Forecast 0.4% Rise


Monthly consumer personal spending and income reports are due ahead of the bell today, and analysts expect both of those numbers to have inched up by 0.4 percent in the month of January.

The personal spending forecast, if materialized, would be much better than December's reading of no change at all. Personal incomes, on the other hand, would be a touch under December's 0.5 percent uptick, which was a nine-month high.

As consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of domestic economic activity, it is a closely watched metric that would confirm or deny the thesis of a strengthening of the overall economy. Worries exist that, should personal income growth not materialize, in the form of higher paychecks, consumers will cut their spending increase, and thus apply the brakes on the still-feeble growth to the economy.

The report is due from the Commerce Department at 8:30 a.m. EST.

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