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January 24, 2006

Consumer spending rolls on

Especially after last summer's hurricanes and the subsequent jump in gas prices, people have been concerned about the economic impacts on consumers. N.C. State University's Mike Walden says that it looks like consumers are holding up.

"This is certainly good news since two-thirds of the economy is based on consumer spending," says Walden, a professor and extension speicalist with the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences' Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.

"In fact, in November both consumer income and spending were up. They increased at very healthy rates of 9 percent on an annual basis. And indeed that record in November was a better performance than in six of the previous nine months.

"It appears now that the effects of the hurricanes at least on the total economy are over. And indeed we can go back and look at this and see that the negative effects of the hurricanes were primarily confined to the months of August and September.

"So we are out of the woods on that," Walden says. "And right now the consumer situation both in terms of income and spending looks very good."

Posted by deeshore at January 24, 2006 08:00 AM