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Consumer spending dipped in October

Nov. 30, 2012 at 10:50 AM

WASHINGTON, Nov. 30 (UPI) -- U.S. consumer spending -- with disposable income flat -- fell 0.2 percent in October, the Commerce Department said Friday.

Consumers spent $20.2 billion less than they did in the previous month as incomes rose by $400 million, a gain of less than 0.1 percent, and disposable income increased by $800 million, also less than 0.1 percent.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis said Hurricane Sandy disrupted jobs, which caused a dip in payroll figures.

"The October decrease in private wages and salaries reflected work interruptions caused by Hurricane Sandy, which reduced wages and salaries by $18.2 billion at an annual rate," the bureau said.

Payrolls at goods-producing companies fell by $3.6 billion while service-oriented firms experienced a $13.5 billion drop in payroll expenses.

Wages and salaries rose in the public sector by $100 million, a fraction of the $1.7 billion gain in the previous month.

By comparison, incomes rose by 0.4 percent in September, or by $47.8 billion. Consequently, spending in September rose 0.8 percent, or by $84 billion, the bureau said, releasing revised figures.

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