U.S. personal spending climbs 0.5% in January

The U.S. Commerce Department released personal spending and income figures on Friday. Personal spending climbed 0.5% in January, exceeding expectations for a 0.3% gain, after a 0.1% increase in December. December’s figure was revised up from a flat reading.

Consumer spending makes more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity. Consumer spending grew 2.0% in the fourth quarter, after a 3.0% increase in the third quarter.

This data suggests that American consumers remained cautious.

The saving rate remained unchanged 5.2% in January.

Personal income increased 0.5% in January, exceeding expectations for 0.4% rise, after a 0.3% gain in December.

Wages and salaries were up 0.6% in January, after a 0.3% gain in December.

The personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index excluding food and energy rose 0.3% in January, beating forecasts of a 0.2% increase, after a 0.1% gain in December. It was the largest rise since January 2012.

December’s figure was revised up from a flat reading.

On a yearly basis, the PCE price index excluding food and index jumped to 1.7% in January from 1.5% in December. It was the largest increase since July 2014.

December’s figure was revised up from a 1.4% gain.

The PCE index is below the Fed’s 2% inflation target. The PCE index is the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation.

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