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Personal income declined in August for first time since 2009

September 30, 2011 |  9:41 am

Mall shopper
In another sign of Americans' economic struggles, personal income declined in August for the first time in two years, the Commerce Department reported Friday.

Growth in personal income -- an individual's total earnings, including wages and investments -- has been sluggish for months. But the drop of 0.1% from July to August was the first since October 2009. Personal income had risen 0.1% in July.

The drop was driven by a 0.2% decline in wages and salaries in August. The decrease of $11.8 billion was the largest since November, according to the department's Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Although people earned less money, they spent slightly more in August. Consumer spending rose 0.2% from July, although was flat when higher prices were taken into account. Consumer spending had risen 0.7% in July.

The new figures came after some mildly encouraging economic data on Thursday that indicated another recession might not be approaching. The data included an upward revision of second-quarter growth and a drop in weekly jobless claims.


U.S. data point away from another recession

Durable goods orders fall in August, but some signs are positive

No new jobs added in August as unemployment rate holds at 9.1%

-- Jim Puzzanghera

Photo: A shopper in Los Angeles. Credit: Associated Press.