According to the U.S. Commerce Department, consumer spending on durable goods, including appliances, increased 1.8 percent in December 2003, up 1 percent from November.
Americans' incomes, meanwhile, rose by 0.2 percent in December, following a 0.3 percent rise in November. The economy grew at a 4-percent annual rate in the October to December fourth quarter, as consumers spent at a 2.6 percent rate, down from a 6.9-percent growth rate in the third quarter.
Analysts predicted a slowdown in economic growth at the beginning of the fourth quarter, but economists are optimistic that consumer spending -- helped by tax refunds -- is picking up in the current quarter and will help the economy expand at a rate of more than 4 percent.
In the report, income growth in December was on target with analysts' projections, while the spending increase was slightly weaker than the 0.5 percent rise that some economists previously forecast.
to Daily News