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U.S. Consumer Spending Rose 0.4% in March

Wall Street Journal (04/30/15) Kate Davidson; Ben Leubsdorf

Consumer spending increased moderately in March, but consumers appear to remain cautious. Personal spending rose a seasonally adjusted 0.4% from February, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. Spending had risen 0.2% in February, revised up from what had previously been reported, after declining in January.

Personal income was flat in March, compared with February, and was the weakest reading since December 2013. Economists polled by the Wall Street Journal had forecast spending would increase 0.5% in March and income would rise 0.2%.

Many economists anticipate improvements in the second quarter, as the effects of harsh winter weather across much of the country and disruptions at West Coast port terminals wear off.