WASHINGTON - Personal income rose $50.3 billion or 0.4% in March, the Commerce Department reported Monday.

The March increase followed an upwardly revised 0.3% gain in February, originally reported as a 0.2% increase. The March rise was better than the median 0.3% increase estimated by economists polled by Thomson Reuters.

Personal spending climbed $29.6 billion, or 0.3% in March. That increase followed an upwardly revised 0.9% gain in February, originally reported as 0.8%. That upward revision made February's personal spending increase the largest since a 1.2% increase in August 2009.

The March gain fell short of the 0.4% increase projected by economists polled by Thomson.

Core PCE prices rose 0.2%, as expected by economists, after a 0.1% gain the month before.

Disposable personal income increased $42.5 billion, or 0.4% in March, following an unrevised increase of 0.2% in February. Real disposable income, which is adjusted to remove price changes, increased 0.2% in March. That increase followed a 0.1% decrease the previous month.

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