Economy | Business

Consumer Spending Rose 0.7 Percent In February; Higher Gas Prices A Factor

NPR | March 29, 2013 7:30 a.m.

Contributed By:

Mark Memmott

Retailers are doing all they can to attract consumers, who drive the economy. (File photo from 2012 of a store window in Santa Monica, Calif.)

Retailers are doing all they can to attract consumers, who drive the economy. (File photo from 2012 of a store window in Santa Monica, Calif.)

Getty Images, Kevork Djansezian

There was a slightly larger-than-expected 0.7 percent increase in consumer spending from January to February, the Bureau of Economic Analysis says.

Higher gasoline prices, though, were much of the reason for the rise. According to the bureau, if spending is adjusted for inflation the increase was a more modest 0.3 percent — the same as in January. And higher energy costs were behind most of the inflationary pressures last month.

Consumer spending is closely watched because consumers buy about 70 percent of all the goods and services that companies produce — meaning they drive the economy.

Meanwhile, personal income shot up 1.1 percent.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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