January Real Consumer Spending Was Above Pre-Recession Level for 4th Straight Month

by: Mark J. Perry

In today's BEA report on Personal Income, there was some pretty good news on real personal consumption expenditures: On an annual basis, real consumption spending increased by 2.8 percent in January, which was the largest annual improvement in four years, since January 2007 (see bottom chart above). Measured in constant 2005 dollars, real consumer spending dipped slightly by -0.1 percent in January from the all-time record high in December, but consumer expenditures last month of $9.44 trillion was the second highest month on record. January was the fourth consecutive month that real consumer spending was above the December 2007 level of $9.35 trillion.