31 Jan '11, 2pm

US consumer spending up 3.5% in 2010

US consumer spending up 3.5% in 2010

WASHINGTON : US consumers streamed back to the shops in 2010, spending more on virtually everything according to official data published on Monday and offering hope the great American consumer has awoken. Americans spent more on energy, food, clothing, housing, cars, travel, health care and a range of other products last year, pushing spending up 3.5 per cent compared with 2009, the Commerce Department said. Spending - underpinned by a whopping 18 per cent increase in energy costs - increased across the board as unemployment levels eased and wages increased. Despite banks' continued trepidation about lending, consumers also spent more on big-ticket items. Spending on vehicles rose eight per cent, helping boost profits at resurgent US automakers GM and Ford. The Commerce Department, rounding out the year's spending, wage and inflation data, said wages rose three per cent an...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_world_business...

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