Consumer Spending Plunges

Washington—The Commerce Department reported on Nov. 1 that consumer spending—obviously affected by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks–plunged 1.8% in September following a small 0.3% gain in August. It’s the largest decrease since January 1987, and the second-largest decline since May 1960. Consumer spending accounts for two-thirds of all economic activity in the U.S.

Consumer spending on such items as clothing and food dropped 1.3%, the largest such decrease since March 1993. Personal income, including wages, interest, and benefits, was unchanged in September, the lowest showing since January 1994.