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Consumer spending weak for second month, rising 0.1 per cent; incomes post strong gain

WASHINGTON — Consumer spending posted a modest increase for a second straight month in October, while personal income rebounded after a sluggish September.

The Commerce Department says spending edged up 0.1 per cent in October after a similar tiny gain in September.

Incomes jumped 0.4 per cent in October, double the 0.2 per cent rise in September. Wages and salaries rose by 0.6 per cent. That was the strongest wage gain in five months and a reflection of the big surge in hiring that occurred last month.

The second straight month of spending weakness could signal trouble, given that consumer spending accounts for 70 per cent of economic activity. However, economists are counting on the strong labour market to bolster the incomes needed to fuel spending in the months ahead.

Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Press

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