Consumer Spending Best Showing in 3 Months; Jobless Claims Highest in More Than Year

The Commerce Department reported that consumer spending increased by 0.2% in October, the best showing in 3 months. Spending had fallen by 0.2% in September and posted only a slight 0.1% rise in August. The acceleration in real consumer spending reflected an upturn in spending on nondurable goods, notably food items.

Personal income, a broad measure that includes all sources of income, rose 0.4% in October, compared with 0.5% in September.

  • Wages and salaries, the largest component of personal income, increased 0.6% in October, the same increase as in September.
  • Personal interest income increased 0.4% after increasing 0.1% in September.

Real disposable personal income, the after-tax amount available for spending or saving, increased 0.6% in October after increasing 0.8% in September. Real consumer spending increased 0.4% after increasing 0.2%

A key measure of inflation, the Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) price index, decreased 0.3% in October, reflecting a decline in energy prices. The PCE price index excluding food and energy increased 0.2% in October.

Personal saving was a negative $53.8 billion in October, compared with a negative $69.1 billion in September.

Jobless Claims:

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits posted an unexpectedly large increase last week, rising by 34,000 to 357,000, the Labor Department reported.

The four-week moving average for claims, which is designed to smooth out week-to-week fluctuations, rose by 7,250 to 325,000, the highest level

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.9 percent for the week ending Nov. 18, unchanged from the prior week's unrevised rate of 1.9 percent.

The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending Nov. 18 was 2,480,000, an increase of 45,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 2,435,000. The 4-week moving average was 2,449,500, an increase of 18,750 from the preceding week's revised average of 2,430,750.

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