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Financial News: U.S. Personal Income Inches Up Less Than Expected

U.S. Personal Income Inches Up Less Than Expected But Spending Jumps

04/29/2019 - 09:09:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - A report released by the Commerce Department on Monday showed a smaller than expected uptick in U.S. personal income in the month of March, although the report also showed a significant increase in personal spending during the month.

The Commerce Department said personal income inched up by 0.1 percent in March after edging up by 0.2 percent in February. Economists had expected income to climb by 0.4 percent.

Disposable personal income, or personal income less personal current taxes, crept up by less than a tenth of a percent in March after ticking up by 0.1 percent in February.

Meanwhile, the report said personal spending jumped by 0.9 percent in March after inching up by 0.1 percent in February and rising by an upwardly revised 0.3 percent in January.

The Commerce Department provided new data for both February and March in this month's report due to the impact of the recent government shutdown.

Economists had been expecting personal spending to rise by 0.2 percent in February and climb by 0.7 percent in March.

Real spending, which is adjusted to remove price changes, climbed by 0.7 percent in March after coming in unchanged in February.

With spending increasing by much more than income, personal saving as a percentage of disposable income tumbled to 6.5 percent in March from 7.3 percent in February.

A reading on inflation said to be preferred by the Federal Reserve showed the annual rate of core consumer price growth slowed to 1.6 percent in March from 1.7 percent in December.

"The surge in real personal spending in March suggests that consumption growth will be at least 3% annualized in the second quarter, after slowing sharply in the first quarter," said Andrew Hunter, Senior U.S. Economist at Capital Economics. "But the Fed may be more concerned by the renewed weakness of core inflation."

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