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Personal income flat in September

Government says incomes little changed last month. Spending by individuals was down 0.5%. Both figures were in line with forecasts.

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By Ben Rooney, CNNMoney.com staff reporter

An eyeblink glance at the economy
The economy has grown for five straight quarters, but there are signs that the recovery is still fragile.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Personal income was essentially unchanged in September, while spending by individuals fell, government figures showed Friday.

The Commerce Department said personal income fell by less than 0.1% in September, after a downwardly revised 0.1% increase in August. The slight decline was in line with economists' forecasts, according to a consensus estimate gathered by Briefing.com.

Spending by individuals was down 0.5% last month, which was also expected. August was revised to show that personal spending was up 1.4%.

Personal saving totaled $355 billion in September, or 3.3% of disposable personal income. That was up from $307 billion, or 2.8% of disposable personal income, in August.

The report came one day after the government said U.S. gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic activity, grew in the third quarter following a prolonged contraction.

Thursday's GDP data showed consumer spending rose at a 3.4% rate in the quarter, the biggest increase in nearly three years. Spending by consumers accounts for more than two-thirds of the nation's economic activity. To top of page

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