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Spending up 0.2 percent in January

March 1, 2012 at 10:17 AM

WASHINGTON, March 1 (UPI) -- Consumer spending rose 0.2 percent in January after coming in flat the previous month, the U.S. Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis said.

Personal incomes rose by $37.4 billion or 0.3 percent, while spending increased by $23.2 billion or 0.2 percent. Disposable incomes rose by $14.1 billion or 0.1 percent, the agency said.

A day after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned that rising gas prices would cut temporarily into disposable incomes, the figures reported Thursday for January were mostly in line with expectations.

Personal savings in January fell slightly from December's rate of 4.7 percent to 4.6 percent with $540.6 billion put into savings in January.

The consumer price index, which rose 0.1 percent in December, rose 0.2 percent in January. Core prices, which excludes food and energy prices, also 0.2 percent after a 0.1 percent increase in the previous month.

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