Private sector shows more signs of sluggishness as fourth quarter begins
The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — Consumer sentiment improved more than expected in September but was still stuck at its weakest level in more than a year due to economic worries among upper-income families, a survey released Friday showed.
The report was part of a mixed bag of economic data that added up to a picture of sluggish growth, especially in the private sector:
- Consumer spending rose a bit in August while incomes increased by the largest amount in eight months, a gain that was propelled by the resumption of extended unemployment benefits.
- Construction spending rose unexpectedly as public construction rebounded. But investment in private projects fell to its lowest in more than 12 years.
- Manufacturing grew for a 14th straight month, but at slower rate, according to a private survey.
An early rally on Wall Street faded a bit as investors digested the news suggesting a slowdown in growth. William Dudley, president of the powerful Federal Reserve Bank of New York, said in a speech that the pace of the economic recovery has been disappointing.
He said the Fed is likely to take additional action in an effort to boost the economy and lower unemployment from its current 9.6 percent official rate.