U.S. Consumer Spending Down In April

By Agence France-Presse Consumer spending fell 0.1% in April from the previous month, while personal income remained unchanged, the U.S. Commerce Department said May 30. Both consumer spending and income were weaker than expected. The consensus of Wall Street economists was for consumer spending to remain unchanged and for income to rise 0.1% in April. This is the first decline in consumer spending since January. The unchanged reading in income was the smallest change since July 2002. In March, consumer spending rose a revised 0.8%, up from the initial estimate of a 0.4% rise. Income rose 0.4% in March, unrevised from the initial estimate last month. The decline in consumer spending in April was led by a decline in spending on non-durable goods. Spending on non-durable goods, designed to last less than three years, fell 1.4% in April. Spending on durable goods rose 1.2% and spending on services rose 0.3%. Adjusted for inflation, consumer spending was up 0.1% in April, compared with a 0.5% rise in the previous month. Disposable personal income rose 0.3%, after remaining unchanged in March. Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2003

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