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Consumer spending looks firmer in March

Consumer spending looks firmer in March (by Greg Robb)

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - The first quarter ended on an up beat with consumer spending looking healthier than had earlier been feared despite the higher costs of gasoline, the Commerce Department reported Friday. The March data showed consumer spending in current dollar terms rose 0.6%. roughly in line with expectations on Wall Street. But consumer spending in January and February was revised higher. Spending in February rose a revised 0.9% compared with the prior estimate of a 0.7% gain. Consumer spending in January rose a revised 0.5%, compared with a 0.3% increase. Personal income rose 0.5% in March, above expectations of a 0.3% gain.