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US personal spending and income both missed expectations in March, the latest sign of first-quarter weakness in consumption.

Spending was flat in March from the previous month, missing expectations for a rise of 0.2 per cent. Meanwhile, income rose 0.2 per cent, slower than the 0.3 per cent that was forecast.

Meanwhile, the core personal consumption expenditures price index, the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge, ticked lower by 0.1 per cent month-over-month, matching expectations. It was up 1.6 per cent from the previous year, shy of the central bank’s target of 2 per cent.

The report is the latest to cast a shadow over how the consumer performed in the first three months of this year, with overall gross domestic product growth cooling to the lowest level since 2014.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved.

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