Consumer spending slid in March, although experts predict recovery is on the way. While consumption rose 0.9 per cent in January and edged up 0.1 per cent in February, it dropped 0.2 per cent in March, on a month-by-month basis. Consumption rose 2.2 per cent over the quarter, on an annualised basis.

The uplift in January can partly be explained by a rise in benefit payments and a fall in personal taxes in the month, according to the Economic Cycle Research Institute. Despite the fall in consumption, it predicted the US recession could end before the autumn, after enough of its key gauges indicated growth.