In promising economic news, US consumer spending rose at the fastest rate in nearly seven years in April, indicating stronger economic growth after a slow start to the year. Personal spending was up 1.0% in April from a month earlier, the Commerce Department said, the largest one-month jump since August 2009. Household spending accounts for more than two-thirds of economic output in the U.S. and has been a driving force for the expansion for more than five years. But consumers had been steadily pulling back since mid-2015. The economy could be picking up again now, as a bleak winter leads into a brighter spring.
In another important development, the government report also showed steady gains in income. Personal income, including earnings from wages and other sources, rose 0.4% in April. Americans have been saving money and holding back on spending in recent years, but now appear a little more confident. The personal saving rate in April was 5.4%, down from March’s 5.9% and the lowest level of the year. In addition, relatively low inflation is also boosting consumer sentiment.