Strong U.S. Consumer Spending Counters Recession Fears
U.S. consumer spending regained momentum in January as households ramped up purchases of a variety of goods, in a hopeful sign that economic growth was picking up after slowing to a crawl at the end of 2015. But the outlook for consumer spending was tempered by another report on Friday showing sentiment among households ebbed in early February. Still, the increase in consumer spending last month underscored the economy’s resilience and challenged the view that a recession was looming. The Commerce Department said retail sales excluding automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services increased 0.6 percent last month after an unrevised 0.3 percent decline in December.