Purchases of food and other nondurable items pushed consumer spending to rise in January. The Commerce Department says consumer spending rose 0.6 percent in January, better than the 0.4 percent gain that economists expected.
Spending has been on a record downfall for six consecutive months. However, experts say the January increase will likely be fleeting given all the problems facing the economy.
The department also reported that personal incomes rose 0.4 percent in January, partly reflecting the cost-of-living adjustments provided to millions of Social Security recipients. And the personal savings rate surged to 5 percent, the highest level since 1995 as consumers continued to put away more of their incomes amid the deepening recession.