U.S. March consumer spending picks up; inflation hits Fed goal

U.S. PURCHASES rose 0.4 percent month to month in March while price gauge linked to consumption rose 2 percent year over year. / BLOOMBERG FILE PHOTO/MICHAEL NAGLE
U.S. PURCHASES rose 0.4 percent month to month in March while price gauge linked to consumption rose 2 percent year over year. / BLOOMBERG FILE PHOTO/MICHAEL NAGLE
NEW YORK - United States consumer spending picked up in March while the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge hit the central bank’s 2 percent target for the first time in a year, reinforcing the outlook for further interest-rate hikes. Purchases rose 0.4 percent from the prior month, matching estimates, after being little changed in February,…

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