WASHINGTON – U.S. consumer spending fell 0.2 percent in January, the second consecutive monthly decline, the Commerce Department reported Monday.
Consumer outlays, which account for two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, slipped 0.3 percent in December, the largest monthly drop since September 2009.
Analysts had forecast a 0.1 percent decline in consumer spending in January.
The last time consumer spending fell for two consecutive months was early 2009 and the declines follow back-to-back increases of 0.4 percent in October and November.
Economists suggest the tumble in consumer spending is temporary, predicting increases as the year goes on thanks to improvement in the labor market, among other factors.
Personal income increased 0.3 percent in January, the same as in December.