US consumer spending up 0.3% in October with incomes flat

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans increased their spending in October at the fastest rate in three months even though income grew at its weakest pace in 13 months.

The Commerce Department says consumer spending rose 0.3% last month, the best showing since a 0.5% rise in July. Incomes were essentially unchanged in October, the worst such reading since a similar flat reading in September 2018.

An inflation gauge tied to spending edged up a modest 0.2% and is just 1.3% higher over the past 12 months, well below the Federal Reserve’s 2% target level for inflation.

The October spending increase adds to evidence that consumers will likely do their part this quarter to offset a drag from businesses cutting back on investment plans because of the ongoing U.S.-China trade war.

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