- U.S. personal spending increased less than expected in May, while personal income figures met forecasts, official data showed on Thursday.

In a report, the Commerce Department said that personal spending rose 0.2% last month, below expectations for an increase of 0.4%. Personal spending for April was revised to a flat reading from a previously reported decline of 0.1%.

Consumer spending is the single biggest source of U.S. economic growth, accounting for as much as two-thirds of economic activity.

The report also showed personal income rose 0.4% in May, in line with forecasts and after gaining 0.3% in April.

Meanwhile, the core PCE price index inched up by a seasonally adjusted 0.2%, in line with expectations, after rising 0.2% in April. The core PCE price index rose at an annualized rate of 1.5% in May, matching forecasts, after rising at a rate of 1.4% in the preceding month.

The Federal Reserve uses core PCE as a tool to help determine whether to raise or lower interest rates, with the aim of keeping inflation at a rate of 2% or below.

Following the release of the data, the U.S. dollar held on to gains against the euro, with EUR/USD shedding 0.15% to trade at 1.3609, compared to 1.3604 ahead of the data.

Meanwhile, the outlook for U.S. equity markets was mildly lower. The Dow 30 pointed to a loss of 0.1% at the open, the S&P 500 indicated a decline of 0.15%, while the Nasdaq 100 signaled a fall of 0.1%.

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