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Personal Spending Meets Expectations

By John S. McClenahen The merchants in Ocean City, Md., were hoping that the past Labor Day weekend would bring them lots of business and help make up for a disappointing summer. But U.S. Commerce Department data released last Friday suggest that consumers overall have pretty much kept on spending this summer. Personal consumption expenditures rose 0.8% in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $7.697 trillion, right in line with most economists expectations. Meanwhile, personal income growth in July was either right in line with economic projections or just below the forecast, depending on which group of economists you benchmarked. Commerce's data show that, compared with June, personal income increased 0.2% in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $9.226 trillion.

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