WASHINGTON – Consumer spending stalled in May as slower job gains and a lack of wage growth prompted Americans to cut back.

Purchases were unchanged, the weakest since November, after a 0.1 percent rise the prior month that was smaller than initially reported, Commerce Department figures showed Friday. The median estimate of 75 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for no change in so-called nominal sales.

Merchants from CarMax to Red Robin Gourmet Burgers are feeling the pinch of restrained household incomes as the jobless rate exceeds 8 percent for 40 straight months. While gasoline prices are less of a burden on Americans, the absence of bigger employment gains will make it tough for spending and the expansion to accelerate.

“Consumers are struggling with a lack of income growth, and the consequence is spending is suffering,” said Ward McCarthy, chief financial economist at Jefferies & Co. in New York, who forecast stagnant spending. “The decline in gasoline prices, especially if it continues, will provide some relief going forward, but income growth is the impediment right now.”

Projections for spending ranged from declines of 0.3 percent to increases of 0.3 percent. The Commerce Department revised the April spending figure from a previously reported 0.3 percent gain.

Incomes climbed 0.2 percent for a second month in May, matching the median projection in the Bloomberg survey. Wages and salaries were unchanged in May, the weakest in six months, after a 0.1 percent rise.