U.S. consumer spending surged in May with the biggest monthly increase in nearly six years — a sign of stronger economic growth ahead.

The Commerce Department says consumer spending rose 0.9 percent in May after ticking up a revised 0.1 percent in April. Last month's increase was the largest percentage gain since August 2009, as the positive impacts from the solid pace of hiring and cheaper gasoline are starting to ripple through the economy.

Personal income also rose a healthy 0.5 percent.

In prior months, Americans had been setting aside more of their paychecks. The higher savings helped put their personal finances on a more sustainable path, while limiting the ability of the overall economy — which relies mostly on consumer activity — to grow at a faster pace.