Consumer spending rose in May

June 27, 2013 at 9:44 AM
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WASHINGTON, June 27 (UPI) -- Consumer spending rose 0.3 percent in May, the Commerce Department said Thursday, climbing out of a deeper rut in April than previously reported.

In April, spending declined 0.3 percent, the department said, revising a previous release that pegged the decline at 0.2 percent.

The rebound for May was in line with economists expectations. It was the largest gain since February, when personal consumption expenditures jumped 0.7 percent.

With an adjustment for price changes, spending rose 0.2 percent in May, following an inflation-adjusted decline of 0.1 percent in April.

Disposable incomes rose 0.5 percent in the month with personal wages and salary disbursements up by $19.7 billion after a $6.5 billion gain in April.

The gain in incomes was also the largest since February, when they rose 1.2 percent.

Personal savings rose to $387.6 billion from $359.2 billion in April. The personal savings rate -- savings as a percentage of disposable incomes -- rose to 3.2 percent in May, compared to 3 percent in April.

The price index linked to consumer spending showed a gain of 0.1 percent in May after dropping 0.3 percent in April. The index for core prices, which leaves out food and energy items, also rose, climbing 0.1 percent after an increase of less than 0.1 percent in April.

Higher spending, incomes and price pressure points to an economy making incremental gains. Small shifts in spending are magnified by its importance in the grand scheme of things, as consumer spending makes up about 70 percent of the country's gross domestic product, the broadest measure of the country's economic performance.

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