US consumer spending recorded its biggest decline since late 2009 in December, with households appearing to save the extra cash from cheaper gasoline, which could support future consumption.
Other data published yesterday showed factory activity slowed in January, suggesting economic growth continued to cool early in the first quar- ter.
The Commerce Department said consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of US economic activity, fell 0.3pc after a 0.5pc gain in November.
It was the largest drop since September 2009 and reflected big declines in spending on both durable and nondurable goods. When adjusted for inflation, consumer spending was the weakest since last April.
In a separate report the Institute for Supply Management said its national factory activity index fell to 53.5 last month from 55.1 in December. A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the manufacturing sector. (Reuters)