Personal spending, income jump

Measures show strength in August, indicating some economic improvement.

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By Aaron Smith, CNNMoney.com staff writer

When will you know that an economic recovery is underway?
  • When the Dow tops 10,000
  • When GDP turns positive
  • When job growth resumes
  • It's already started

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Personal income and spending, important measures of the strength of the economy, both jumped in August, a government report said Thursday.

Personal income edged up $19.3 billion, or 0.2%, according to the Commerce Department. A consensus of economists polled by Briefing.com had expected personal income to edge up 0.1% in August.

Personal spending jumped 1.3% last month, the government said. This was above the Briefing.com consensus forecast of a 1.1% increase.

John Lonski, chief economist for Moody's Investors Service, said this gradual increase in income and spending shows that the economy is recovering, even if the pace is "sluggish" and "lackluster."

"We're not going to see consumer spending drop off the chart," said Lonski. He said the report "suggests that the U.S. will continue to progress in terms of economic activity; it's not regressing."

The government also revised figures for July. Personal income for that month was revised up to an increase of 0.2%, compared to an earlier report that said it was unchanged. Personal spending for July was revised to an increase of 0.3%, compared to the prior report of a 0.2% increase.

The government also released figures on personal saving, which totaled $324 billion in August, or 3% of disposable personal income. That was down from $436 billion, or 4% of disposable personal income, in July.  To top of page

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