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Spending Spree Continues

American consumers continue to dip into savings to satisfy their spending appetites, Commerce Department data showed Friday.

Personal income, as expected, rose 0.4 percent last month, government figures showed. At the same time, spending jumped 1 percent. Economists surveyed by looked for spending to rise by a smaller 0.8 percent a month ago.

The bond market fell on the news, with the benchmark 10-year Treasury note falling 10/32 to yield 6.10 percent, it had been higher by about 10/32 ahead of the report.

Financial markets are wary that signs of robust demand could prompt the Federal Reserve to tighten lending more aggressively. Policy-makers have repeatedly said that the biggest risk facing the domestic economy right now is that demand is far outrunning production and over time, that could ignite inflation.

The Commerce Department reported Thursday that the economy continues to charge ahead. The fourth-quarter's 7.3 percent growth clip was the fastest since the first quarter of 1984, when the domestic economy charged ahead by 9 percent. Still, prices are rising only modestly, the report showed.

The personal savings rate in February, according to Commerce Department data, dropped to 0.8 percent of disposable personal income in February, compared with 1.4 percent in January.

February's savings rate was the lowest on record, a Commerce official confirmed.

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