Consumer spending rises 0.4%

The U.S. Commerce Dept. said consumer spending increased 0.4% in March after a tame 0.1% gain in February and a decline of 0.1% in January. It marked the strongest monthly increase in consumer spending since a 1.1% surge last December. According to the Commerce Dept., the jump in spending came from strength in spending on nondurable goods, such as clothing and food, and on services such as rent payments.

The U.S. Commerce Dept. said consumer spending increased 0.4% in March after a tame 0.1% gain in February and a decline of 0.1% in January.

It marked the strongest monthly increase in consumer spending since a 1.1% surge last December.

According to the Commerce Dept., the jump in spending came from strength in spending on nondurable goods, such as clothing and food, and on services such as rent payments.

Spending on big-ticket durable goods such as cars was actually down for the month.

Adjusting for inflation, the March increase was 0.1%, while February was transformed from a gain of 0.1% to a decline of 0.4%.

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