(Bloomberg) -- Corporate America’s pain is U.S. consumers’ gain.

Company profits -- and their shares -- have been sideswiped by tumbling energy prices, a strengthening dollar and rising labor costs. Those same forces are lifting consumers’ spirits as they pay less for gasoline at the pump and for imported suits at the mall while reaping the benefits of a tighter jobs market.

“There are strong cross-currents in the economy” as households prosper and businesses suffer, said David Hensley, director of global economics for JPMorgan Chase & Co. in New York. “The balance, though, is positive for growth.”

While consumer spending fell in December by the most in five years, households were taking a breather after a surge in buying during the previous two months. For the fourth quarter as a whole, household expenditures rose at the fastest clip in almost nine years, according to data from the Commerce Department in Washington.

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