Weather to Blame for Low Consumer Spending
The warm thaw of spring is coming, but Americans’ wallets are – still – in sub-zero mode. The U.S. Department of Commerce reported a small drop, of 0.6 percent, in spending for the month of February, a result blamed on challenges posed by consumer austerity and a difficult winter. While some reported flat sales, volatile businesses like restaurants and home retailers were negative. But economists say they’re optimistic: Low unemployment rates usually lead to spending growth, especially once people can leave the house.