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U.S. consumer spending steady in June

Staff Writer |
U.S. consumers in June continued to spend faster than they earned while inflation slowed, according to official data.

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American consumers shelled out an additional 0.4 percent, or $53 billion more than they had in May, while their disposable personal incomes had risen by only $24.6 billion, or 0.2 percent, according to the Commerce Department.

The percentage increases were the same as those recorded for May. Consumer spending is the main engine for growth in the US economy.

June's rise in personal income largely reflected rising wages and non-farm proprietors' income, the Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis said in a statement. This was partly offset by drops in dividend and interest income, it said.

The personal consumption expenditure price index, a key measure of inflation, rose only 0.1 percent, down from May's 0.2 percent increase.

That left inflation up 0.9 percent over the same point last year. The figure rises to 1.6 percent when food and energy are excluded.

Monetary policy makers at the US Federal Reserve, whose decisions influence markets around the world, have cited persistently low inflation in forestalling interest rate hikes.

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