Personal Income And Outlays Rise

By John S. McClenahen Both personal income and spending in the U.S. rose in January, although income rose at only about half the expected rate. Personal income increased two-tenths of a percentage point -- $18.4 billion -- between December 2003 and January 2004, the U.S. Commerce Department reported on March 1. Economists generally had been looking for a 0.4% increase. Personal consumption expenditures increased 0.4% ($32.1 billion), a tenth of a percentage point better than expected. "We expect some improvement [in consumption] over the balance of the [first] quarter as auto sales rebound and after-tax income benefits from big personal tax rebates," says UBS Investment Research, New York.

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