WASHINGTON — Personal spending jumped by a larger amount than expected in January but Americans' incomes barely budged. The weak income growth could depress spending in the months ahead, acting as a further drag on the fragile economic recovery.
The Commerce Department said that personal spending rose by 0.5 percent in January, slightly better than expected. But incomes edged up only 0.1 percent, significantly lower than the 0.4 percent gain that economists had expected.
The income gain was the weakest showing in four months and raised more concerns about whether consumers will be able to keep spending at a sufficiently strong pace to support an economic rebound.