Personal income decreased 0.1 percent and real consumer spending increased 0.1 percent in September, according to data released today by the U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Real consumer spending in the third quarter was 2.6 percent higher, at an annual rate, than the second-quarter average. Real disposable personal income decreased 0.3 percent in September.
“The decline in personal income in September was due largely to a drop in unemployment insurance benefits, which were temporarily elevated in August by the payment of backlogged claims,” said U.S. Commerce Department Under Secretary for Economic Affairs Rebecca Blank. “Real consumer spending experienced its fifth consecutive quarterly increase and the strongest quarterly gain since late 2006, demonstrating that the economic recovery continues. Private-sector analysts forecast that moderate growth in consumer spending will continue in the fourth quarter and during 2011, supported by ongoing improvements in areas such as household balance sheets and credit markets.
“However, this administration recognizes that high unemployment remains an impediment to stronger growth in personal income and we remain committed to doing all we can to ensure that more Americans can find good-paying jobs that provide a sense of security and hope for the future,” Blank said.