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US consumer spending sinks by record 13.6% in face of virus

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumer spending plunged by a record-shattering 13.6% in April as the viral pandemic shuttered businesses, forced millions of layoffs and sent the economy into a deep recession. Last month’s spending decline was far worse than the revised 6.9% drop in March, which itself had set a record for the steepest one-month fall in records dating to 1959. The figures reinforced evidence that the economy is gripped by the worst downturn in decades, with consumers unable or too anxious to spend much. Even with employers cutting millions of jobs, though, incomes soared 10.5% in April, reflecting billions of dollars in government payments in the form of unemployment aid and stimulus checks.

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