Consumers Earned More, Saved More in March

Household income for Americans increased $50.3 billion, or 0.4 percent, in March, the most since December, according to the Commerce Department.
Economists had expected a gain of 0.3 percent.
The quarter ended on more of a whimper than bang, as consumers earned slightly more than they spent – a positive sign of increased savings for households, but not so good for an economy in recovery.
Consumer spending rose 0.3 percent last month, just below the projection in a Reuters poll of 0.4 percent.
The personal saving rate – personal saving as a percentage of disposable income – was 3.8 percent in March, compared with 3.7 percent in February.
The latest estimate on GDP, or the output of goods and services, puts first quarter 2012 growth at 2.2 percent, the U.S. Commerce Department said last week.
That compares to a 3 percent gain in the fourth quarter of 2011.

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