WASHINGTON — Consumer spending surged in April, led by a big jump in purchases of autos and other durable goods, while home prices kept climbing in March.
Consumer spending rose 1 percent in April after a flat reading in March, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. Incomes were up a solid 0.4 percent, matching the gain in March. Wages and salaries, the most important component of incomes, rose 0.5 percent.
The strong showing for consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of economic activity, signals that the economy is performing notably better this quarter after nearly stalling out at the start of the year. Many economists say the economy is growing at a 2.5 percent rate, outpacing a 0.8 percent gain in the first quarter.