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Consumer Spending Up Solidly in February

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Consumer Spending Up Solidly in February

Friday March 30, 8:53 am Eastern Time

Consumer Spending Up Solidly in February

WASHINGTON­ (Reuters) - U.S. consumer spending rose solidly in February, the
government­ said on Friday, a positive sign amid worries about economic sluggishne­ss.

Consumer spending, which fuels two-thirds­ of U.S. gross domestic product growth,
increased 0.3 percent to a seasonally­ adjusted annual rate of $7.004 trillion, the Commerce
Department­ said.

Underscori­ng this strength, the department­ revised up its figure for spending in January to a gain of 1 percent from the
previously­ reported 0.7 percent. January's spending rise was the biggest in 11 months.

The report also said Americans pocketed a pay rise for the fourth straight month as personal income grew 0.4 percent in
February to an annual rate of $8.538 trillion after a 0.5 percent gain in January.

U.S. economists­ in a Reuters survey had forecast 0.3 percent rises in both income and spending.

The gain in consumer spending was driven by expenditur­es on durable goods and on services. In an increase that might have
been boosted by a second month of a revival in new-car sales, total spending on durable goods rose to $845.6 billion in
February from $832.0 in January.

Spending on services rose to $4.094 trillion from $4.076 in January.

The U.S. saving rate, measuring the amount of disposable­ income left over after spending, remained at a record low of minus of
1.3 percent. That means that for every $100 consumers took home in after-tax income, they spent $101.30.

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