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Report: U.S. consumer spending up in February, economy on ‘firmer footing’

WASHINGTON — A report released Monday by the Commerce Department showed that consumer spending in the United States rose more than forecasted in February as incomes climbed.

Bloomberg News estimated spending would advance 0.5%.

Purchases increased 0.7%, the most since October, after advancing 0.3% the prior month. Incomes increased 0.3%, less than the 0.4% projected.

The report also showed that the United States added jobs for the sixth consecutive month in February, and the unemployment rate fell to the lowest level since April 2009.

Retail sales climbed in February by the most in four months, boosted by a jump in auto purchases.

“The economic recovery is on a firmer footing,” federal officials said.

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