By Greg Robb, MarketWatch
The numbers: Consumer spending moderated in October, the government said Wednesday. Spending rose 0.5% after a revised 1.2% gain in the prior month. This is the smallest gain since April. Economists polled by MarketWatch expected a 0.4% rise.
Incomes sank 0.7% in October as government programs ended. Economists were expecting a 0.5% drop.
The PCE index, the Federal Reserve’s inflation barometer slowed to a 1.2% annual rate down from a 1.4% gain in September. The core measure that strips out food and energy increased at a 1.3% annual rate, down from 1.5% in the prior month. The Fed is farther away from its 2% inflation target.
What happened: The savings rate dipped to 13.6% from 14.3%. Wages and salaries rose 0.7% in the prior month.
Big picture: The U.S. is suffering another major wave of COVID-19 cases at the same time that government stimulus funds are waning. Consumer confidence fell to a three-month low.
Market reaction: Stocks opened lower on Wednesday with the Dow Jones Industrial /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA -0.57% down 176 points in early afternoon trading after a record close above 30,000 in the prior day’s session.