Wednesday, April 1st2.8°C
25757
24291

US consumer spending surged a strong 0.9 per cent in March, biggest monthly gain in 4 1/2 years

WASHINGTON - U.S. consumers ramped up their spending in March at the fastest pace in 4 1/2 years, a sign that the economy is gaining momentum after its winter slowdown.

The Commerce Department said Thursday that consumer spending rose 0.9 per cent, the largest monthly gain since April 2009. The department also revised up its estimate of the spending increase in February to 0.5 per cent from 0.3 per cent.

Consumers spent more on manufactured goods last month. Autos and furniture led much of the gains, according to a separate retail sales report released last month.

Income rose 0.5 per cent in March after rising 0.4 per cent in February.

Higher spending points to stronger growth ahead because consumer activity accounts for roughly 70 per cent of the economy. During last quarter as a whole, harsh winter weather curbed spending, and the economy barely grew at an annual rate of just 0.1 per cent.

But Thursday's report suggested that last quarter's slowdown was confined mainly to January and February, before consumers stepped up spending in March.

For last quarter overall, consumer spending did grow at a 3 per cent annual rate. But that gain was dominated by a 4.4 per cent rise in spending on services, reflecting in part higher utility bills during the unusually cold winter.

Economists say warmer weather likely encouraged people to make purchases last month that they had delayed because of snowstorms earlier this year.

"The weather-related rebound may now have run its course," said Paul Dales, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics.

Dales projects that consumer spending will increase at a 4.5 per cent annual clip this quarter and will help the overall economy grow at a 3.5 per cent annual rate over that time.

Employers added 192,000 jobs in March and 197,000 in February, after slight gains in the preceding months. The hiring should help to drive income and spending gains in March.

On Friday, the Labor Department will issue the April employment report. Economists have forecast that 210,000 jobs were added, according to the data firm FactSet.

Payroll processer ADP said Wednesday that private employers added 220,000 jobs in April, the most since November, after adding 209,000 in March.

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News




Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX14902.44-5.95
S&P CDNX680.07-0.26
DJIA17776.12-200.19
Nasdaq4900.88-46.56
S&P 5002067.89-18.35
CDN Dollar0.7886-0.0002
Gold1181.80-1.30
Oil47.27-0.33
Lumber275.30-2.90
Natural Gas2.668+0.028

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.125+0.010
Knighthawk0.010.00
QHR Technologies Inc1.48-0.02
Cantex0.03-0.01
Anavex Life Sciences0.211-0.004
Metalex Ventures0.04+0.00
Russel Metals24.04-0.36
Copper Mountain Mining1.16-0.02
Colorado Resources0.11-0.01
ReliaBrand Inc0.0036-0.0024
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.04-0.01
Mission Ready Services0.25+0.02
Decisive Dividend Corporation1.80+0.02

 



25103

FEATURED Property
20156589 570 Sarsons Road
3 bedrooms 3 baths
$729,000
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


Down payment

If you have less than 20% down payment, mortgage insurance is required through Canada Mortgage & Housing (CMHC), Genworth or Canada Guaranty. Homeowners no longer need the minimum 5% down payment ...


CRA Notice of Assessment

Many Canadians rush to file their taxes on time each year and don’t think about it until the next year. One of the most overlooked notices received from the CRA annually is the annual Notice of ...


Medical confidential?

If ICBC asks your doctor for your information you may wonder: Can ICBC ask my doctor for my medical information? Can ICBC request a medical report from my doctor without my consent? What is ICBC entit...

_








Member of BC Press Council


24886