Friday, March 31, 2017

Consumer spending slows; inflation pushing higher

A customer shops at a Walmart Supercenter in Rogers, Arkansas June 6, 2013.     REUTERS/Rick WilkingU.S. consumer spending barely rose in February amid delays in the payment of income tax refunds, but the biggest annual increase in inflation in nearly five years supported expectations of further interest rate hikes this year.

The Commerce Department said on Friday consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, edged up 0.1 percent. That was the smallest gain since August and followed an unrevised 0.2 percent rise in January.

Economists had expected a 0.2 percent increase.. . . more

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