Incomes up .5%

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U.S. Consumer Spending in April Decreases 0.1%; Incomes Gain

By Courtney Schlisserman

June 1 (Bloomberg) — U.S. consumer spending fell in April for a second straight month as concern over rising unemployment prompted consumers to save.

The 0.1 percent drop in purchases was smaller than forecast and followed a 0.3 percent decrease in March that was larger than previously estimated, the Commerce Department said today in Washington. The savings rate jumped to the highest level in 14 years.

Economists forecast spending would fall 0.2 percent, according to the median of 63 projections in a Bloomberg News survey. Estimates ranged from a drop of 0.3 percent to a gain of 0.2 percent.

Incomes climbed 0.5 percent, the biggest gain in almost a year, reflecting increases in unemployment insurance benefits and social security payments associated with the Obama administration’s stimulus plan. Income was projected to also fall 0.2 percent, matching the March decrease.