One Bright Spot: Consumer Spending Rebounds
The economy contracted at a 6.1% annual rate in the first quarter, according to today's BEA report, which was worse than the 4.6% decrease in real GDP expected by economists. The one bright spot in today's report was the rebound in Personal Consumption Expenditures during the first quarter - consumer spending grew at 2.2% during the first quarter (see graph above) following two quarters of negative growth (-4.3% in 2008:Q4 and -3.9% in 2008:Q3), and was just slightly below the 2.27% average growth since 2001.
REUTERS -- There were some bright spots in the report. Consumer spending, which accounts for over two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, rose 2.2%, after collapsing in the second half of last year. Consumer spending was boosted by a 9.4% jump in purchases of durable goods, the first advance after four quarters of decline.
WSJ -- GDP acts as a scoreboard for the economy by measuring all goods and services produced. Its biggest component is consumer spending, which accounts for about 70% of GDP. First-quarter spending increased 2.2%, after dropping 4.3% in the fourth quarter.