ECONOMY

US consumer spending rebounds 0.1 percent in February after 2 straight monthly declines

FILE - In this Friday, Jan. 23, 2015, file photo, vehicles form a line behind a motorist gassing up at a gas station in Newark, N.J. The Commerce Department releases its February report on consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of economic activity, on Monday, March 30, 2015. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

FILE - In this Friday, Jan. 23, 2015, file photo, vehicles form a line behind a motorist gassing up at a gas station in Newark, N.J. The Commerce Department releases its February report on consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of economic activity, on Monday, March 30, 2015. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)  (The Associated Press)

U.S. consumers spent slightly more in February following two straight monthly declines and their income rose by a healthy amount, a development that economists hope will keep boosting spending in coming months.

The Commerce Department says consumer spending edged up a tiny 0.1 percent last month following declines of 0.2 percent in both January and December. The result reflected a 0.4 percent increase in nondurable goods such as food and energy after three straight months of declines that stemmed from falling gasoline prices. Durable goods were down 0.1 percent, a drop that reflected weaker auto sales.

Income grew a solid 0.4 percent in February, matching January's rise. Economists are hopeful that continued strong income gains will lift consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of economic activity.