Bump in consumer spending signals slow, steady recovery

March 30, 2010

Consumers spent modestly last month, a sign that the economic recovery is proceeding at a decent - but not spectacular - pace. The Commerce Department reported Monday that consumers boosted their spending by 0.3 percent in February. That was a tad slower than the 0.4 percent increase registered in January and marked the smallest increase since September. Still, the increase in spending was considered a respectable showing, especially given the snowstorms that slammed the East Coast and kept some people away from the malls. It marked the fifth straight month that consumer spending rose. Incomes were flat in February, following a solid 0.3 percent gain in January. It marked the weakest showing since July, when incomes shrank. Income growth is the fuel for future spending.

- Associated Press

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