Americans spent at the fastest pace in three years in 2010, boosted by a strong finish in December, the Commerce Department reports. Consumer spending rose 0.7 percent in December, the sixth straight monthly increase, Commerce says. For all of 2010, consumers spending increased 3.5 percent, the best performance since a 5.2 percent rise in 2007, before the recession began.
The government also reports that consumer spending rose at a 4.4 percent rate in the final three months of 2010, the most since 2006 and helping retailers to the best holiday shopping season in that time. Economists expect a cut in Social Security taxes will lift January’s spending and incomes even further that last month, when final numbers are released.