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June 26, 2014 8:40 AM, EDT
Consumer Spending Climbs in May
Ty Wright/Bloomberg News

Consumer spending in the United States grew in May as Americans used gains in income to shore up household finances.

Purchases, which account for about 70% of the economy, climbed 0.2% after being little changed in April, Commerce Department figures showed.

The median forecast of 76 economists in a Bloomberg News survey called for a 0.4% rise. Incomes advanced 0.4%, and the saving rate increased to an eight-month high.

“Clearly, the consumer is getting a bit squeezed here,” said Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at IHS Inc. “The second quarter could come in a little lower” than currently projected.

Projections for spending ranged from gains of 0.1% to 0.6%. The previous month’s reading was initially reported as a drop of 0.1%.

The Bloomberg survey median called for incomes to rise 0.4%. The prior month’s income figure was unrevised from the previously reported 0.3% gain.