Con­sumer spend­ing in­creases

Wages, salaries also rose in Novem­ber af­ter drop caused by Su­per­storm Sandy.

Austin American-Statesman - - BUSINESS - Econ­omy

WASHINGTON — Con­sumers spent and earned more in Novem­ber, re­flect­ing a re­bound from the dis­rup­tions caused by Su­per­storm Sandy.

The Com­merce De­part- ment said Fri­day that con­sumer spend­ing rose 0.4 per­cent com­pared with Oc­to­ber. Per­sonal in­come jumped 0.6 per­cent, the big­gest gain in 11 months.

Econ­o­mists noted that the spend­ing and in­come growth in Novem­ber was a healthy sign for the econ­omy, es­pe­cially in the midst of anx­i­ety and un­cer­tainty from the stale­mate in Washington over the fis­cal cliff.

Wages and salaries rose $41 bil­lion in Novem­ber. Sandy had re­duced wages at an an­nual rate of $18 bil­lion in Oc­to­ber. Spend­ing had fallen 0.1 per­cent in Oc­to­ber com­pared with Septem­ber.

With in­come ris­ing faster than spend­ing, the sav­ing rate rose to 3.6 per­cent of in­come in Novem­ber. That was up from 3.4 per­cent in Oc­to­ber.

Con­cerns have been ris­ing that in­come growth has been too weak to sup­port sus­tained in­creases in spend­ing, es­pe­cially when Amer­i­cans are wor­ried about pos­si­ble tax in­creases in the new year from the “fis­cal cliff.” That’s the name for au­to­matic tax in­creases and spend­ing cuts due to take ef­fect in Jan­uary un­less Congress and the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion reach a bud­get deal be­fore the new

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