U.S consumers increased their spending just 0.2 percent in May, a disappointing result after two months of much stronger gains. The weaker reading could raise questions about the extent of economic growth overall in the current April-June quarter.
The Commerce Department says the tiny rise in spending last month followed much stronger increases of 0.6 percent in March and 0.5 percent in April. It was the poorest showing since spending had fallen 0.1 percent in February.
Consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of economic activity, and economists are counting on solid gains to propel economic growth after a slow start to the year.
In a more hopeful sign, incomes grew a solid 0.4 percent in May, supported by strong growth in wages and salaries.