By Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times (TNS)
Consumer spending bounced back in January after taking into account sharply lower gas and energy prices, the Commerce Department said Monday.
Overall spending actually fell for the second straight month, the first time that’s happened since the Great Recession. But economists said the decline was misleading because it was caused by the steep decline in energy prices.
When adjusted for inflation, which has been low as oil prices have plunged, consumer spending actually rose 0.3 percent in January, the Commerce Department said.
The increase in real spending followed a 0.1 percent decline in December.…