Consumer Spending Slows in April; Incomes Up

U.S. consumer spending (search) slowed in April, rising a slimmer-than-expected 0.6 percent, but shoppers got a little more for their money as inflation eased a bit, a government report showed on Friday.

The rise in personal spending followed an upwardly revised increase of 0.9 percent in March, the Commerce Department (search) said. Income rose 0.7 percent.

Analysts on Wall Street had expected a larger 0.8 percent advance in spending after an initially reported 0.6 percent March gain. The increase in income matched forecasts.

On an inflation-adjusted basis, spending rose just 0.2 percent in April after an upwardly revised 0.4 percent March increase.

The department's gauge for consumer inflation (search) — favored by policy-makers at the Federal Reserve (search) — rose a hefty 0.4 percent, but that was a bit less than in March, when it increased 0.5 percent.

Stripping out volatile food and energy costs, prices rose just 0.1 percent, the smallest increase since December and a slowdown from a 0.3 percent March advance.

The personal saving rate, the percentage of disposable income socked away by consumers, moved down to 0.4 percent, its lowest level since October 2001.