WASHINGTON – Spending by American consumers probably picked up in the third quarter, helping the world’s largest economy overcome a slump in business investment that is holding back the expansion.
“The economy is still in recovery mode,” said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James & Associates Inc. in St. Petersburg, Florida. “The consumer is looking better than we’d anticipated. Business spending is a concern.”
Consumer spending is projected to have increased at a 2.1 per cent annual rate last quarter following a 1.5 per cent gain from April through June, according to the survey median.
Retail sales in September and August had the best back-to- back showing since late 2010 as shoppers snapped up goods from cars to Apple Inc.’s iPhones, a sign demand was heading into the year-end holidays on a high note. Target Corp. (TGT), the second- biggest US discounter, was among chains whose same-store sales last month topped analysts’ estimates.