Consumer Freedom

With Income Stagnant, Consumer Spending Growth Stalls

You can't spend what you don't have


Consumers barely spent more money in April, adjusted for inflation, despite tepid income gains, leaving little room in the future for more demand.

Nominal income and wages were flat vs. March while spending fell 0.2%, the Commerce Department said Friday. Real spending edged up 0.1%, matching the gain in real after-tax income.

The saving rate held at just 2.5%. Without more robust wage gains or bigger appetites for debt, consumers don't have much room to ramp up spending.