U.S. Consumer Spending Creeps Higher as Saving Rises

Spending rose 0.2% from April

U.S. consumer spending rose edged up in May as income growth slowed and saving increased, official data showed on June 28 in a report suggesting consumers remain cautious amid high unemployment.

The Commerce Department said consumer spending rose 0.2% from April, slightly better than the 0.1% rise expected by most analysts. Spending was flat in April.

So-called "real" consumer spending, adjusted to remove price changes, rebounded in May, increasing 0.3% after a decrease of less than 0.1% in April.

Personal income rose 0.4% in May, a shade below the 0.5% increase in April. The consensus forecast was for the 0.5% pace to continue.

Disposable income -- income after taxes have been paid and available to spend -- also climbed 0.4%, or 0.5% in "real" terms, but consumers decided to save more as the economy struggles to recover from the worst recession in decades.

Personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income rose for the second consecutive month, to 4% in May, the highest level since September 2009, from 3.8% in April.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

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