Personal income declined in August for first time since 2009
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.
-- Jim Puzzanghera
Photo: A shopper in Los Angeles. Credit: Associated Press.