Consumer Spending Softens Again, Flat In April

MarketWatch Pulse

Consumer spending was flat in April as Americans increased savings, showing that households remained cautious at the start of the second quarter. Personal incomes rose a seasonally adjusted 0.4% last month after no gain in March, the Commerce Department said Monday. Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast a 0.1% increase in spending and a 0.3% gain in income. Since incomes grew faster than spending, the amount of money individuals save climbed to 5.6% from 5.2%. Also, inflation as gauged by the PCE price index was unchanged in April. The PCE index has risen a scant 0.1% in the past 12 months. The core PCE index that excludes food and energy, meanwhile, rose 0.1% in April, and it's up 1.2% over the past year. The Federal Reserve wants to see inflation move closer to 2% on a year-over-year basis.

Copyright © 2015 MarketWatch, Inc.

Continue Reading Below