U.S. Consumer Spending Flat, Income Lower

U.S. consumer spending was flat in Jan. as personal income declined due to a one-time factor, the Commerce Department reported Monday. Personal income fell 2.3% in Jan., the largest decline in 11 years, reversing Dec.'s record 3.7% gain from the Microsoft dividend payment. Wall Street economists were expecting spending to rise 0.1% and income to fall 2.6%. The report showed consumer prices rose 0.2% in Jan., according to the personal consumption expenditure price index, the Federal Reserve's preferred gauge of consumer inflation. The core PCE price index -- excluding food and energy -- rose 0.3%, the biggest gain since Oct. 2001.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2005

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