U.S. Consumer Spending Slows in February

Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, increased 0.2% in February. Adjusting for inflation, consumer spending dipped 0.1%.

Consumers increased spending on housing and utilities as well as on healthcare, but cut back on spending at restaurants, bars and hotel accommodation. Overall, services spending rose 0.2% after advancing 1.2% in January.

Outlays on long-lasting manufactured goods dropped 1.4% as a plunge in purchases of motor vehicles offset gains elsewhere. Spending on nondurable goods increased 0.9%, reflecting higher gasoline prices. There were also increases in spending on pharmaceutical products as well as food and beverages.