(Washington) (AP) – U.S. consumers increased their spending slightly last month as their income grew at the fastest pace in six months.
The Commerce Department says consumer spending rose 0.3 percent in August. That’s up from a 0.2 percent gain in July.
Income rose 0.4 percent in August, the best gain since February and up from a 0.2 percent July increase. Private wages and salaries rose $28.5 billion, while government’s increased $2 billion. Forced federal furloughs reduced government wages and salaries by $7.3 billion.
Consumer spending drives 70 percent of economic activity. Many analysts forecast weaker overall growth of around 2 percent in the July-September quarter, in part because of weaker consumer spending.