U.S. Consumer Spending Up Again

However personal income contracted 0.2% in February.

For the second consecutive month in February, consumer spending rose, the Commerce Department said on March 27.

Personal consumption expenditures increased $17.2 billion, or 0.2%, from January, in line with analysts expectations.

Expenditures had risen $94.8 billion, or 1%, in January based on revised estimates.

Consumer spending is a key barometer of the U.S. economy facing prolonged recession after a housing mortgage crisis sparked financial turmoil across the globe and caused a severe economic downturn.

The report showed that personal income contracted 0.2% in February, slightly weaker than expected by analysts. In January, personal income had increased by 0.2%.

Personal income, which tracks income from all sources, is the largest component of total income is wages and salaries estimated using payrolls and earnings data.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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