The spending of U.S. consumers dropped in March along with their incomes and they elevated savings to cope with the recession. Meanwhile, new U.S. claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, providing some hope that the pace of layoffs may be slowing somewhat after months of crippling job losses.
Personal consumption in March fell at a seasonally adjusted rate of 0.2% compared to the month before, the Commerce Department said Thursday. It wasthe fourth decline in six months. Spending increased a revised 0.4% in February; originally, spending was seen up 0.2%.