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US: US consumer spending ticks up after half-year drop

03 Mar 2009 12:51 AM

WASHINGTON, March 2 AFP - US consumer spending ticked up 0.6 per cent in January after six months of decline, driven by a surge in retail sales, seasonally adjusted government data showed on Monday.

The Commerce Department's headline number beat analysts' consensus forecast of a 0.4 per cent gain.

In December, consumer spending fell 1.0 per cent from the prior month, and over the June-December period the spending -- which accounts for two-thirds of US economic activity -- fell 3.5 per cent.

On an annual basis, consumer spending in January was 1.6 per cent lower.