Consumer spending rises, but so does saving

Joseph Lazzaro

There's an upside and a downside to January's personal income and spending data announced Monday by the Commerce Department.

The upside: Personal income rose 0.4% and consumer spending rose 0.6% -- both above the Bloomberg News consensus estimates, and those stats bode well for a return to growth.

The downside: the U.S. savings rate in January rose to a 5.0% annualized rate - - the highest rate since 1995. The reason a higher savings rate is a downer? It reflects a high level of caution among U.S. citizens, who are hunkering-down and increasing their savings, given the recession and poor economic outlook for the next two quarters.