U.S. consumer spending dropped a record 13.6% in April

by Bryan Brammer · May 30th, 2020 10:59 am

U.S. consumer spending dropped a record 13.6% in April, the largest drop since records began in 1959, the Commerce Department reported Friday. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had anticipated a 12.8% decline.

Compared to April 2019 (estimates):

  • Restaurants and hotel spending dropped 50%
  • Healthcare expenditures fell around 40%
  • Spending on autos saw a 40% decrease
  • Furniture and appliance spending declined 20%
  • Clothes and shoe purchases diminished 50%

As a result of the lack of spending, personal income increased by a record 10.5%. The personal savings rate also jumped to a record high of 33%.

The Commerce Department report showed that the government's one-time coronavirus relief payments of $1,200 and the weekly unemployment allotment of $600 distributed under the CARES Act account for a majority of gains in April.


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