US consumer spending took a record nosedive last month as Americans hoarded cash during the coronavirus pandemic, new data show.
Personal consumption spending tumbled 13.6 percent in April, marking the largest drop since the feds started tracking the figure in 1959, the US Department of Commerce said Friday.
The US savings rate, however, soared to record heights as Americans hoarded more money than ever before.
The personal savings rate reached a record 33 percent in April, up from just 12.7 percent in March, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis said Friday. The rate, which tracks how much people save as a percentage of their disposable income, is the highest since the department started tracking savings in the 1960s and nearly double the previous record of about 17 percent, set in 1975.
While economists have long urged Americans to save more, it’s coming at a price as reduced spending threatens to crater the economy.
Last month’s 13.6 percent drop in spending comes as retailers have been forced to close across the country, whether they want to or not. As The Post has been reporting, retailers large and small have been attempting to open their doors through appointments in states like New York only to get shut down again.
The plunge beat economists expectations for a 12.6 percent drop and outpaced March’s 6.9 percent decrease — the previous record.