US Consumer Spending Less Than Predicted

US consumer spending results for January rose a less-than-predicted 0.2 percent as rising food and fuel prices forced consumers to spend less on other goods and services. Incomes were higher but with the highest gasoline prices in two years, wage and salary gains had less of an impact on spending.

“The consumer has become slightly more cautious,” said John Silvia, chief economist at Wells Fargo Securities LLC in Charlotte, North Carolina. “The extra money for gas prices is coming out of consumers’ pocket. Spending will be positive, but modest.”

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