U.S. Consumption Rises 0.6 Pct in Sept.

Mon Nov 1, 2004

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. consumer spending climbed 0.6 percent in September, in line with expectations, as shoppers splashed out after showing restraint the month before, government data showed on Monday.

The Commerce Department also revised down its August reading of personal spending to show a 0.1 percent decline, lower than the previously reported unchanged measure.

Personal income climbed 0.2 percent after a 0.3 percent gain in August. August's increase had initially been reported as a 0.4 percent rise.

A Reuters poll of analysts had forecast spending to climb 0.6 percent and incomes to gain 0.3 percent.

Stripping out the effects of inflation and taxes, the Commerce Department said real disposable income was unchanged in September, compared with a revised 0.2 percent rise in August, initially reported as up 0.4 percent.

The PCE price index, one of the Federal Reserve's favorite measures of inflationary pressures, rose 0.1 percent in September after an unchanged reading in August. On a 12-month basis, the PCE price index has risen 2.0 percent.

The core measure, which excludes food and energy, rose 1.5 percent on a 12-month basis and 0.1 percent between August and September.

GDP data released on Friday showed consumers contributing solidly to the 3.7 percent growth recorded by the U.S. economy in the third quarter.

But analysts worry record oil prices will take a bite out of household budgets as soaring energy costs discourage spending as the colder winter months approach.

Spending on durable goods, which includes costly items like cars, increased 1.6 percent after August's 2.0 fall. Nondurable spending advanced 0.5 percent after gaining 0.2 percent the previous month.

The Commerce Department also said the September level of personal savings of $14.3 billion and the personal saving rate of 0.2 percent were the lowest since October 2001.




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