Thursday, August 31, 2006

Consumer Spending Jumps in July

The Bush economy forcing consumers to spend money they would otherwise be saving.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Consumers boosted their spending in July by the largest amount in six months, offering hope that the current economic slowdown may not be as severe as some had feared.

The Commerce Department reported that spending rose by a healthy 0.8 percent last month, double the 0.4 percent gain in June. Incomes also were up, rising by 0.5 percent in July, reflecting stronger wage growth.

A gauge of inflation tied to spending showed that consumer prices, excluding energy and food, have risen by 2.4 percent over the past 12 months, the fastest rate of increase in nearly four years.

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