WASHINGTON — U.S. consumer spending rose solidly last month, good news for the economy.

The Commerce Department says consumer spending increased 0.4 percent in May on top of a 1.1 percent surge in April.

The numbers suggest that consumer spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of U.S. economic activity, picked up in the spring after getting off to a slow start in 2016. The economy grew at a lackluster 1.1 percent pace from January through March, partly because consumer spending grew at the slowest pace in two years.

Still, Americans’ incomes grew just 0.2 percent in May, down from 0.5 percent in April.

An inflation gauge watched by the Federal Reserve showed prices are up 0.9 percent over the past year, 1.6 percent excluding volatile food and energy costs.