Personal Income Dropped in Oct.
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Americans’ personal income, buffeted by a big swing in federal farm payments, fell by 0.2 percent in October, the first decline in nearly two years. Consumer spending rose by the smallest amount in six months.
The Commerce Department reported Thursday that consumer spending was up just 0.2 percent last month, the weakest performance since a 0.2 percent rise in April. Spending had shot up a strong 0.9 percent in September.
The 0.2 percent drop in incomes, the first decline since December 1998, resulted from a big swing in federal subsidy payments to farmers, which had soared in September only to return to more normal levels in October. Personal incomes had been up a sizable 1.1 percent in September.
Without the big changes in farm payments, however, personal incomes would have risen just 0.4 percent in September and instead of declining in October would have posted a 0.5 percent increase.