Report: Spending Index declines in May

NEW YORK— Deloitte reported a decline in its monthly consumer spending index, as consumers were weighed down by a sharp rise in unemployment claims.

The Deloitte Consumer Spending Index, which tracks consumer cash flow as an indicator of future consumer spending, fell to 2.66%, from a gain of 3.29% in April. The Index is comprised of tax burden, initial unemployment claims, real wages and real home prices.

“The labor market indicators are the primary cause of weakness in the Index, however the economy is up against other temporary headwinds that suggest weak growth may persist for the near term,” said Carl Steidtmann, Deloitte’s chief economist and author of the monthly Index. “Rising food and energy prices continue to hurt real wages, which combined with Americans’ insecurities about the job market, compound the pressure on consumer spending.”

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