US consumer spending grows slower in March
30 April 2012
, (AFP)http://www.france24.com/en/20120430-us-consumer-spending-grows-slower-marchUS consumer spending growth slowed in March after a strong February, even as personal income growth picked up pace, government data showed Monday
Consumer spending, which accounts for about 70% of US economic activity, rose 0.3% in March, the Commerce Department reported.
That undershot the average analyst estimate of a 0.5% rise.
Excluding food and energy, spending rose 0.2%.
"Real consumer spending lost a little momentum toward the end of the first quarter, but wages rose at a solid 4.4% annualized pace between December and March and we expect that consumer spending (will continue) to be supported by improved hiring and wage growth," RDQ Economics analysts said in a research note.
In February, spending jumped a revised 0.9%, the strongest gain since August 2009.
As consumers tightened their wallets in March, personal income rose 0.4%, double expectations and picking up from 0.3% in February.
After adjusting for inflation, disposable income -- personal income less current taxes -- rose for the first time in three months in March, by 0.2%.The personal saving rate edged up to 3.8% from 3.7% in February
, the lowest saving rate since December 2007
, the beginning of a deep recession.
"A modest rise in the savings rate indicates that American households remain cautious about their spending," said Inna Mufteeva, an analyst at Natixis.