Economy

Consumer spending rose in August; economy on track for record Q3 growth

Key Points
  • A report on Thursday from the Commerce Department showed consumer spending rose 1.0% in August after increasing 1.5% in July.
  • Economists had forecast consumer spending to increase by 0.8% in August.
  • Personal income fell 2.7% in the month, steeper than economists' expectations of a 2.4% decline.
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A report on Thursday from the Commerce Department showed consumer spending rose 1.0% in August after increasing 1.5% in July.

Economists had forecast consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, advancing 0.8% in August.

Personal income dropped 2.7% in August, reflecting a decrease in unemployment insurance benefits. A $600 unemployment subsidy ended in July and was replaced by a $300 supplement. Income increased 0.5% in July.

The unemployment subsidy has helped to anchor consumer spending, but funding for the program is running out.

The economy is on track for record growth in the third quarter after a historic slump in the April-June period. Third-quarter GDP growth estimates are topping a 32% annualized rate. The economy contracted at a 31.4% pace in the second quarter, the deepest decline since the government started keeping records in 1947. Growth estimates for the fourth quarter have been cut to around a 2.5% rate from above a 10% pace.

CNBC contributed to this report.