US shoppers spending rose in February at its fastest pace in four months, according to figures from the Commerce Department.

However, part of the 0.7% spending rise was due to households paying more on ever more higher energy bills.

The department also whispered that personal incomes rose 0.3% in February, following a 1.2% rise in January.

Buyer spending is closely watched by economists because it accounts for about 70% of economic movement.

Once price rises was low-cost, the 0.7% rise in spending dropped to 0.3%.

Paul Dales, senior US economist at Capital Economics, told a news agency that the February figures on incomes and spending provided “yet more confirmation that higher prices are denting economic growth”.

He forecast that consumer spending will grow by between 2% and 2.5% in the January-March quarter, down from 4% in the fourth quarter of 2011.