NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Personal income registered an unexpected dip in September, while spending by individuals grew at a slower rate than expected, according to data released by the federal government Monday.
Personal income fell 0.1%, the Commerce Department said. The drop in personal income was a sharp reversal from a revised 0.4% increase registered in August.
According to the Commerce Department, spending by individuals increased by 0.2%.
Economists expected that spending by individuals would rise 0.4% in September, according to a consensus estimate from Briefing.com. Personal income was expected to tick up by 0.3% in the month.
The numbers were the result of a stubbornly difficult economy, according to Scott Hoyt, senior director of consumer economics for Moody's Analytics.
"The underlying takeaway is that conditions remain difficult for consumers, and as a result they are not spending much," he said.
Hoyt pointed to a steep decline in government social benefits as another reason for the drop in spending by consumers.
Those payments decreased by $21.5 billion in September, the result of unemployment compensation legislation, according to Commerce Department.
"These are payments that tend to get spent," Hoyt said.
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