Americans pulled out their wallets as local economies began gradually reopening in May. The Commerce Department said Friday consumer spending shot up 8.2%, rebounding sharply by the most on record from the steepest drop ever posted in April.
But that increase was less than economists had expected.
Consumers snapped up cars and recreational goods. They also spent more on services, especially healthcare, dining and lodging.
Economists closely monitor consumer spending because it accounts for two thirds of U.S. economic activity.
Those expenditure gains may not be sustainable because incomes are dropping and expected to drop further as millions lose their unemployment checks starting next month.
Personal income declined 4.2% in May. That's a sharp about-face from the surge in April that was boosted by government unemployment benefits and stimulus checks.
The government will stop paying an additional $600 per week in unemployment benefits on July 31.