Consumer spending up 0.6%


Associated Press

WASHINGTON

Americans boosted their spending by 0.6 percent in April, the biggest increase in five months and a strong indication that the economy is reviving after a winter slowdown.

The Commerce Department said Thursday that last month’s increase in consumer spending was the largest increase since a 0.7 percent rise last November.

The better-than-expected April gain, which followed a strong 0.5 percent March increase, caused some economists to boost expectations for economic growth, as measured by the gross domestic product, in the April-June quarter.

“The first two months of the year were downers on the consumer spending front, but spending came back to life in March and April despite rising gasoline pump prices,” said Chris G. Christopher Jr., senior economist at IHS Market.

He said his forecast for second-quarter economic growth is now at 4 percent. That would be the strongest quarterly growth in four years and a significant rebound from a modest 2.3 percent gain in the first quarter.

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