Personal income was flat, while personal spending increased 0.3% in February, in line with economists’ estimates and the smallest increase in five months, the Commerce Department reported yesterday.

Core personal consumption expenditure, which excludes food and energy costs, rose 1.3% for the year ending in February, the smallest year-over-year increase since September.

February’s core PCE was unchanged from January.

In January, personal income grew 0.3%. Incomes in January were boosted by the Making Work Pay tax-credit provided by the federal stimulus law.

The provision provides a refundable tax credit of up to $400 for working individuals and up to $800 for married ­taxpayers.

Economists polled by Thomson Reuters expected consumption to increase 0.3% and for incomes to increase 0.1%, according to the median estimate.

Consumption grew 0.4% in January, revised lower from the 0.5% initially ­reported.

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