A 0.8% increase in consumer spending may not seem like something to throw a parade over. And really, it’s not. But it is the largest gain in 18 months and the first increase of any sort since April, so it’s a reason to not frown.
Leading up to the Commerce Department’s report on July consumer spending, experts had been predicting a 0.5% increase, which would still have been pleasant enough following several months of downward trending.
This not-bad news comes amid growing worries of the economy heading into yet another recession. But some say the uptick in consumer spending, which represents about 70% of the country’s economic activity, is an indicator that it’s not all bad.
“If anybody was concerned about this recession risk people were taking about, this personal spending number seems to be another point against that recession argument,” an economist at Nomura Securities tells Reuters. “It seems at least through July, the economy was not too poor.”