US consumer spending scores biggest jump in 6 years

(AP Graphics Bank)

WASHINGTON (AP) – Consumer spending surged in April by the largest amount in more than six years, led by a big jump in purchases of autos and other durable goods.

The Commerce Department says consumer spending increased 1 percent last month after a flat reading in March. Incomes rose a solid 0.4 percent, matching the March gain. Wages and salaries, the most important component of incomes, gained 0.5 percent.

The strong April gain for consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of economic activity, is a good sign that the economy is doing a lot better in the current quarter after nearly stalling out at the start of the year. Many economists believe the economy is growing at a 2.5 percent rate, outpacing the 0.8 percent gain in the first quarter.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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