Personal and disposable income increased both increased between February and March 2013, to $30.9 billion and $20.7 million respectively, according to new figures release by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The slight increase in income growth was about half of what economists' had forecast, reported The Wall Street Journal, but is consistent with generally slow rates of wage growth over the last few years.
Despite slow wage growth, government figures to indicate consumer spending increased, albeit slightly by 0.2 percent month-to-month. This figure came out ahead of predictions of 0.1 percent growth.
"Consumers are struggling to cope with slow income growth and higher taxes this year even as inflation pressures have eased," said Wells Fargo senior economist Eugenio Aleman, to the Journal.
The U.S. personal consumption expenditure (PCE) price index slipped 0.1 percent in March, according to BEA figures. The core PCE, which strips out the volatile prices of food and energy increased, was essentially flat between March and April.
The Core PCE is considered by the Federal Reserve to be the best indicator of national inflation. Year-to-year, the core PCE has rose 1.1 percent in March 2013, well below the Federal Reserve's 2 percent target for raising interest rates.