U.S. inflation pressure remained stable in January, while consumer spending slowed down in the month.
The price index for personal consumption expenditure (PCE) rose 0.4 percent in January, the biggest increase since September and higher than the 0.1 percent growth in the previous month, said the Commerce Department on Thursday.
On a year-on-year basis, the PCE price index, a prefered inflation gauge by the Federal Reserve, rose 1.7 percent. The index has been stabilized at the 1.7 percent level for three months, indicating stabilized inflation pressure.
Excluding the volatile food and energy prices, the core PCE price index rose 1.5 percent in January.
Fed chair Jerome Powell said on Tuesday that the inflation will likely move up in 2018, with the support from stimulative fiscal policy, robust economic outlook and solid overseas growth.
However, Wednesday's data showed that consumer spending lost strong growth momentum at the beginning of this year.
Household consumption rose 0.2 percent in January, lower than the 0.4 percent in December last year.
Powell expected consumer spending will regain robust growth with the support of the strong labor market.