The slowdown in tech went on full display after Facebook parent Meta Platforms announced plans to reduce headcount for the first time ever. Macroeconomic headwinds are clearly hitting the sector, as well as an advertising slump that was exacerbated by Apple's iOS privacy changes. Meta is also waiting for its big investments in virtual reality (Oculus), the metaverse (Horizon Worlds) and short-form video (Reels) to bear fruit, as growth peaks across Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.
Inflation in August was stronger than expected despite the Federal Reserve’s efforts to bring down prices, according to data Friday that the central bank follows closely. The personal consumption expenditures price index excluding food and energy rose 0.6% for the month after being flat in July. That was faster than estimates and another indication that inflation is broadening. On a year-over-year basis, core PCE increased 4.9%, more than the 4.7% estimate and up from 4.7% the previous month.
Consumer spending rose a modest 0.4% in August — and even less when inflation is factored in — in a sign that rising and interest rates are putting a bigger strain on households. Spending rose a scant 0.1% last month after adjusted for inflation. Outlays in July actually declined instead of rising as previously reported, the government said. The lackluster increase in spending toward the end of summer suggests people are minding their money as the economy slows and higher prices raise their cost of living. Consumer spending drives as much as 70% of U.S. economic activity.