UPDATE: Fewer auto sales dent consumer spending in August, inflation still weak, PCE shows
By Jeffry Bartash, MarketWatch
Consumer spending up 0.1%, core inflation lowest since 2015
The numbers:Consumer spending rose just 0.1% in August (https://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/national/pi/pinewsrelease.htm) after a 0.3% gain in the prior month. That matched the Marketwatch forecast. If adjusted for inflation, however, spending fell for the first time since January.
Personal income climbed 0.2%, above the 0.1% forecast. The savings rate was flat at 3.6%.
The PCE index, the Federal Reserve's preferred inflation gauge, increased 0.1% in August. The closely followed "core" rate that strips out food and energy edged up 0.1%. Neither index rose on a yearly basis.
What happened: Consumer spending slowed in August largely because of fewer sales of new cars and trucks. Auto sales dropped 1.8% last month. Hurricane Harvey may have also been a drag on the economy.
Inflation remained subdued. The 12-month rate of PCE inflation was unchanged at 1.4%. The core rate fell a tick to 1.3% -- the lowest level since November 2015.