Though consumer spending has decreased over the last month or two, American incomes have increased since December, strengthening savings accounts throughout the nation, according to the U.S. government.
On Monday, the government revealed that consumer spending has barely changed since December, despite intense (and sometimes fatal) holiday shopping sprees. In November, consumer spending rose only one tenth of a percentage point. Consumer spending covers 70% of the U.S. economy, and recent trends may be cause for concern.
However, personal incomes have grown by half a percentage point as of December, reaching a year-long high. Many Americans have been forced to pay their bills with their savings over the past few years, and the rise in income has pushed savings rates up by 4%. In addition, figures for the end of 2011 in the hedge fund industry were disappointing, having been described by Kevin Rose and Azam Ahmed as “dismal.”
Considered the world’s greatest economy, the U.S. has been growing slowly. In 2011 it grew a mere 1.7%, while Federal Reserve officials predict 2.7% growth in 2012.