One of the two dropping is bad news so this is troubling news heading into the eurozone storm that is just starting. (And no, it doesn't matter that we're outside of the eurozone. We're all too connected for that not to have an impact.) It's too early to tell yet if consumers came to the rescue for year end holiday shopping but we're in for more delicate times if that didn't happen.
The Commerce Department said on Friday consumer spending ticked up 0.1 percent after rising by the same margin in October. Economists had expected spending, which accounts for two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, to rise 0.3 percent. In another report, the department said non-defense capital goods orders excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business spending, fell 1.2 percent last month after declining 0.9 percent in October. While the reports suggest some slowing in activity, they are unlikely to change perceptions that economic growth will top 3 percent in the current quarter after a 1.8 percent pace in July-September, boosted in part by a rebound in inventories.