Washington, DC - Consumers boosted their spending in October at the fastest pace in seven months, while their incomes rose by the largest amount in nine months — both good signs for future economic growth.

Consumer spending rose a sharp 0.6 percent last month, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. It was the biggest increase since a similar gain in March and was three times faster than the 0.2 percent September performance. Incomes, which provide the fuel for spending, were up 0.5 percent in October, a significant pickup from a 0.2 percent September gain.

A key gauge of inflation tied to consumer spending posted a 2 percent rise in October compared to a year ago, hitting the annual target for inflation set by the Federal Reserve.

Both the climbs in spending and income were stronger than economists had been forecasting.
Consumer spending is closely watched because it accounts for 70 percent of economic activity.

The rise in spending reflected strong gains in purchases of durable goods, items such as autos expected to last at least three years, and non-durable goods and services such as utility payments.

The advance in personal incomes included a 0.3 percent rise in wages and salaries.

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