US consumer spending slows to 0.3% gain in April

Consumer spending slowed in April with inflation up, but still far below the target set by the Federal Reserve.

There was a burst of spending in the prior month as well.

The Commerce Department said Friday that spending increased 0.3% in April following a 1.1% surge in March that had been the largest increase in nearly a decade. Personal income growth, which had been lagging in recent months, jumped 0.5% in April.

Inflation, as measured by a gauge tied to consumer spending, increased 1.5% in April compared with a year ago, up slightly from a 1.4% 12-month change in April. The Fed tries to manage interest rate policy to achieve annual price gains of 2%. However, through the first three months of this year, inflation fell farther from this goal.

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