Personal Spending Falls Short Of Expectations

By John S. McClenahen Americans spent less in March than economists generally expected them to. Personal consumption expenditures (PCE) advanced 0.4% from February to March, according to U.S. Commerce Department data released April 30. Economists had been looking for a 0.7% increase. Taking inflation into account, consumer outlays grew just 0.1% in March. At the same time, personal income was increasing 0.4%, matching economists' expectations. Inflation is rising in the U.S. economy, something the real PCE percentage confirms. Whether inflation is rising fast enough for the Federal Reserve to begin to tighten the money supply will be known on May 4. That's when its interest-rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee is scheduled to meet.

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