U.S. Personal Income, Spending Rise

By John S. McClenahen Both personal income and personal spending in the U.S. rose in November, the U.S. Commerce Department reported Dec. 23, with personal income increasing more than generally expected and personal spending increasing significantly less. Personal income increased 0.5% -- economists generally expected 0.4% -- to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $9.335 trillion last month while personal spending rose 0.4% -- a 0.7% increase was expected -- to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $7.896 trillion. Also on Dec. 23, the Commerce Department confirmed its Nov. 25 figure for GDP growth in the third quarter of this year. From July through September, the U.S. economy grew at a stunning 8.2% annual rate, more than twice the 3.1% annual rate recorded in the second quarter of 2003. Pre-tax corporate profits in the third quarter were at an annual rate of $865.9 billion, $73.4 billion higher than in the second quarter. After-tax profits in the third quarter were at an annual rate of $635.4 billion, $54.4 billion higher than in the second quarter of this year.

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