U.S. personal spending rose a more-than-expected six-tenths of a percent in March.

Monday's report from the Commerce Department also says personal income rose eight-tenths of a percent.

Economists watch personal spending because it is a measure of the consumer demand that drives about two thirds of U.S. economic activity.

Rising incomes help sustain consumer spending, while rising inflation can slow spending.

Monday's report showed a key inflation measure rose about three-tenths of a percent in March, and was up two percent since this time one year ago.

The "core" price index ignores volatile prices for food and energy and focuses on the underlying economic trend.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.