US consumer spending up in February

| March 28, 2011
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The Commerce Department has today reported a rise in consumer spending in the US for the month of February - due, in part, to higher food and energy costs.

Spending grew 0.7% in the month after a 0.3% increase in January. February’s figure represented the fastest pace for four months but this was attributed to households paying more for energy bills.

Consumer spending is closely monitored as it accounts for approximately 70% of total economic output.

The figure beat forecasts of a 0.6% gain.

Meanwhile, the Commerce Department also said personal incomes rose 0.3% in February and follows a 1.2% gain the previous month.

In related news, last week the Commerce Department revealed the US economy grew by an annualised 3.1% in the October to December period – higher than a previous estimate of 2.8%.

For the whole of 2010, the world’s largest economy grew by 2.9%.

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