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Washington – Consumer spending rose a healthy 0.3% in June, slightly below the strong gains of the past three months, while incomes turned in a solid 0.4% gain for the fourth straight month.

The Commerce Department said Tuesday that the spending increase followed strong gains of 1% in March, 0.6% in April and 0.5% in May as the consumer rebounded following a lackluster start to the year.

An inflation gauge favored by the Federal Reserve showed prices rising 1.4% over the past year, well below the Fed’s 2% inflation target. Fed officials are widely expected to reduce their benchmark interest rate for the first time in a decade at this week’s meeting, in part because of the continued short-fall in inflation despite strong economic growth and unemployment at near a 50-year low.

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