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Ignore the Headlines: U.S. Consumer Doing Fine

Consumers continue to spend, and will continue to be the growth engine of the U.S. economy in 2016.

Roland Czerniawski: In today's video, we are going to take a look at consumption data in the fourth quarter. Quarterly consumption was up 3.1% year over year in the fourth quarter when adjusted for inflation, which is considerably faster than the 2.4% average during the past three years. 

Let's dissect the report and look at the specific categories that contributed to the overall growth to see where the improvements are actually coming from. The chart depicts various consumption categories represented as varying-in-size bubbles. The vertical axis represents the year-over-year growth, while the horizontal axis represents the dollar size of the categories. The size of the bubbles represents the contribution to the overall growth defined as year-over-year growth times the dollar weight.

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