Americans spent at a slower rate in February as their income fell and they saved money at a historically elevated level to cushion against the recession. Personal consumption rose 0.2% compared to the month before, the Commerce Department said Friday. Spending had increased a revised 1.0% in January; originally, spending was seen up 0.6%.
Personal income in February fell at a seasonally adjusted rate of 0.2% compared to the month before. Income increased a revised 0.2% in January; originally, income for that month was seen 0.4% higher.
Personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income was 4.2% in February, the Commerce Department said. It was 4.4% in January. The last time the saving rate exceeded 4.0% two straight months was August and September 1998, up 4.3% and 4.2%, respectively.