U.S. personal income in March rose 0.2 percent, or $30.9 billion, the Bureau of Economic Analysis said Monday, while consumer spending also climbed 0.2 percent, or $22.6 billion.

Consumer spending had been expected to remain flat, according to a survey of analysts by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. That compares with February's increase of 0.7 percent, or $143.2 billion.

Meanwhile, the core personal consumption expenditures, or PCE, price index -- a rate of inflation closely monitored by the Federal Reserve -- was unchanged in March, and is up just 1.1 percent in the past 12 months, down from 1.3 percent in February.

The latest report on consumer spending follows closely on the Commerce Department's retail sales report for March, which showed a 0.4 percent decline, the biggest drop in nine months.