Consumer Spending Picks Up

By John S. McClenahen U.S. consumers seem to have extricated themselves from June's economic "soft patch." Personal consumption expenditures rose eight-tenths of a percentage point to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $8.238 trillion in July, a bit higher than the 0.7% that economists generally expected, the U.S. Commerce Department reported on Aug. 30. However, there's a question of how long the spending will continue, because personal income grew just one-tenth of a percentage point last month, far below general expectations of a 0.5% increase.

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