FILE - In this April 24, 2019, file photo Marcy Seinberg shops at a Walmart Neighborhood Market in Levittown, N.Y. On Friday, May 31, the Commerce Department issues its April report on consumer spending, which accounts for roughly 70 percent of U.S. economic activity. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

US consumer spending slows to 0.3% gain in April

May 31, 2019 - 7:38 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — 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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