Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Spending and Prices, Inching Upward

Americans curbed their spending in June, with personal spending up just 0.2 percent from a month earlier, according to the Commerce Department. That was the smallest monthly gain for that figure since February. In May, spending had risen 0.7 percent.

Personal income, which includes wages and government aid, did a little better in the month. That measure climbed 0.4 percent in June, the same rate at which it had risen in May.

And then there's inflation. The price index for personal-consumption expenditures, the Fed’s preferred inflation measure, rose 0.2 percent in June from a month earlier, the Commerce Department said. From a year earlier, prices were up just 0.3 percent. Inflation has now run below the Fed's 2 percent target for 28 straight months. Core prices, which exclude volatile food and energy costs, ticked up 0.1 percent from a month earlier and 1.3 percent from a year ago.

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