WASHINGTON – U.S. consumers slowed their spending in September, even as overall income grew at solid pace for the second straight month.
The Commerce Department says consumer spending rose 0.2 percent in September, after at 0.3 percent gain the previous month. Americans cut spending on long-lasting manufactured goods 1.3 percent. That partly reflected a drop in auto sales. Labor Day weekend auto sales were counted in August.
Income rose 0.5 percent in September, matching the August gain. The increases in both months were the strongest since February. September's gain was helped by the end of government furloughs, which had reduced federal pay in the previous two months.
The gain in income and the slowdown in spending meant consumers saved 4.9 percent of their after-tax income, up from 4.7 percent in August.