U.S. consumer spending was unexpectedly flat in April as households cut back on purchases of automobiles and continued to boost savings, suggesting the economy was growing moderately early in the second quarter.
The Commerce Department report on Monday also showed no inflation pressures, with a price index for consumer spending recording its smallest gain since late 2009 on an annual basis.
The unchanged reading in consumer spending followed an upwardly revised 0.5 percent increase in March. Consumer spending in April was also curbed by weak demand for utilities as the temperatures warmed up.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, increasing 0.2 percent in April. March's outlays were previously reported to have increased 0.4