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US consumer spending sinks by record 13.6% in face of virus

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Consumer spending plunged last month as the corona virus pandemic shuttered businesses and triggered layoffs that have sent the economy into a deep recession the commerce department reports consumer spending dropped thirteen point six percent in April by far the steepest in records that date back to nineteen fifty nine and the declines were across the board from durable goods like cars to non durable items such as clothing and services ranging from doctor visits to hair cuts but even with employers cutting millions of jobs personal income soared ten and a half percent in April the increase reflected the billions of dollars in support the government has paid out through unemployment benefits since stimulus checks consumer spending is the primary driver of the economy accounting for about seventy percent of economic activity so the April plunges a grim harbinger for second quarter growth Ben Thomas Washington

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