A strengthening labor market and lower gasoline prices mean Americans have extra cash for the holidays. Some economists are forecasting the money will keep flowing into, and out of, consumers’ pockets next year.
Consumer spending in the U.S. unexpectedly dropped in September as incomes rose at the slowest pace of the year, indicating the economy will have difficulty sustaining a pickup in growth into the end of the year.
Jobless claims climbed by 21,000 to 311,000 in the period ended Aug. 9, the highest in six weeks, a Labor Department report showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 48 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for 295,000.
U.S. stocks rose, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rebounding from its biggest drop in three weeks, after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said the economy is poised for faster growth even as he cuts stimulus.
U.S. stocks fluctuated, after the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index had its biggest loss in a month, as investors weighed whether improving economic data will prompt the Federal Reserve to cut stimulus next week.