U.S. spending jumps with the help of stimulus checks - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

U.S. spending jumps with the help of stimulus checks

By Delivrine Registre - bio | email

June 29, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) -  U.S. consumer spending jumped last month just as government stimulus checks hit bank accounts and mail boxes across the country. Stimulus checks provided some relief for many South Georgians, but they still question whether this will be enough.

The Albany Mall is full of people with shopping bags. A sign of the recent turn around that came mainly from government issued stimulus checks. "I've decided to buy new clothes with it. I work as a school teacher and I looked at my wardrobe and I see that I need a new one," said Linda Kegler. 

Data from the Commerce Department shows U.S. personal spending rose .8 percent in May, the highest its been since November. "We got ours about a month and a half ago, and we went to Orlando to Universal Studios and spent every dime," said Kim Shirley.

But not everyone spent the money as those same stimulus checks help push the savings rate up five percent bringing it to a 13 year high. "The ones that I've talked to, friends and family, are spending it on bills that they are trying to catch up with. The price of food has gone up so high. So food and basically bills," said Kegler.

"With our situation, we had a vacation coming up. So it came at the right time, but for other people bills might come first," said Shirley.

But with the price of gas and food getting higher, the recent spending may come to an end after the last stimulus checks are issued. "I think you will need more than just a check to boost spending in the economy," said Kegler.

"I budget really good and watch what I spend so that I do have money for gas because I fill up like every four days. So it's hard," said Shirley. Because of the stimulus checks disposable income jumped almost six percent in May and delivered and extra 107 billion dollars to American households.

The majority of the stimulus checks were distributed at the end of April through June. So far, the Treasury Department has sent out a little more than 79 billion dollars in payments.

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