Consumers spent less in December even as an inflation measure considered key by the Federal Reserve showed the pace of price increases easing, the Commerce Department reported Friday.
Personal consumption expenditures excluding food and energy increased 4.4% from a year ago, down from the 4.7% reading in November and in line with the Dow Jones estimate. That was the slowest annual rate of increase since October 2021.
On a monthly basis, so-called core PCE increased 0.3%, also meeting estimates.
At the same time, consumer spending was even less than already modest estimates, indicating that the economy slowed at the end of 2022 and contributing to expectations for a 2023 recession.