Fresno shoppers buck U.S. trend toward spending

Nationwide, shoppers opened their wallets wider in May and in June, increasing their spending for two straight months — but the uptick doesn't appear to be happening in the Valley.

Merchants in Fresno say they don't see an increase in sales, and shoppers say they're still jittery about spending.

In a report Tuesday, the Commerce Department estimated American consumers spent about 0.4% more for goods and services in June than they did in May. And May's total was 0.1% higher than in April.

Since consumer spending accounts for about 70% of total economic activity, it has helped lift the economy out of previous recessions. But four-tenths of a percent is hardly a surge.

While analysts expect the American economy to grow in the second half of this year, they say consumers aren't likely to lead the way because unemployment is rising and personal income is falling.

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