US consumer spending rose more than expected in January, providing further evidence of a steady recovery for the world's biggest economy.
Spending during the month increased by 0.5%, following upwardly revised growth of 0.3% in December, the Commerce Department said.
The measure has now risen for four consecutive months.
Consumer spending is watched closely because it accounts for more than two-thirds of overall US economic activity.
Last week, revised figures showed that the US economy grew by 5.9% in the last three months of 2009 - higher than the first estimate of 5.7%.
While the US economy is growing strongly, high unemployment and fears of a renewed downturn are curbing spending.