US consumer spending, income up in January

Washington, March 1: US family incomes rose for the second consecutive month in January and boosted their spending, a positive sign for economic recovery, the US Commerce Department said Thursday.

US personal income rose 0.3 percent in January, after a 0.5 percent gain in December 2011, Xinhua reported.

US personal consumption expenditures (PCE) rose 0.2 percent in January, after it remained flat in December 2011.

The US savings rate, personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income, edged down to 4.6 percent in January from 4.7 percent in the previous month but remained well above the 2.1 percent average savings rate for all of 2007 before the financial crisis.

Economists say economic uncertainty has pushed Americans to save more of their additional income. Consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of US economic activity.

The US economy expanded at a quicker pace of 3 percent in the fourth quarter of last year than earlier estimates, and is expected to gain momentum this year.