US consumer spending up 8.2%, partly erasing record plunge

2016 Thanksgiving, Black Friday hours for major retailers

WASHINGTON (AP) — American consumers increased their spending by a record 8.2% in May, partly erasing record plunges the previous two months, against the backdrop of an economy that’s likely shrinking by its steepest pace on record this quarter.

Last month’s rebound in consumer spending followed spending drops of 6.6% in March and 12.6% in April, when the viral pandemic shuttered businesses, forced millions of layoffs and sent the economy into a recession. Since then, many businesses have reopened, drawing consumers back into shops and restaurants and restoring some lost jobs. Americans stepped up their spending in May despite a 4.2% decline in personal income, which had soared 10.8% the previous month.