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
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.