WASHINGTON -- Americans spent in May at the weakest pace in 20 months, a sign that high gas prices and unemployment are holding back the economy.
Consumer spending was unchanged, the Commerce Department said Monday. That was the worst result since September 2009. And when adjusted for inflation, spending actually dropped 0.1 percent.
April's consumer spending figures were revised to show a similar decline when adjusting for inflation. It marked the first decline in inflation-adjusted spending since January 2010.
Incomes rose 0.3 percent for the second straight month. But adjusted for inflation, after-tax incomes increased only 0.1 percent in May, after falling by the same amount in the previous month.
Stock futures fell immediately after the report was released. Dow futures plunged 115 points.