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Economic Report: Inflation creeps higher in February, pinches consumer spending

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Incomes for Americans increased strongly again in February, but consumers pocketed some of the money instead of spending it. Inflation also crept higher.

The numbers: Incomes for U.S. workers increased strongly again in February, but consumers pocketed some of the money instead of spending it. Inflation also crept higher.

Consumer spending advanced 0.2% last month, just half as fast as the 0.4% rise in incomes, the government said Thursday. The increases matched the forecasts of economists polled by MarketWatch.

The PCE index, the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge, rose 0.2%. So did the closely followed “core” rate that strips out food and energy.

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