Consumer Spending Falls 0.2% In September, First Drop In 8 Months

Consumer spending in the U.S. fell in September for the first time in eight months, as Americans bought fewer cars and spent less on energy amid falling oil prices. They spent more services, however. Personal spending dropped a seasonally adjusted 0.2% last month to mark the first decline since January. Personal income rose 0.2%. Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast a 0.1% increase in spending and a 0.3% gain in income. Since income growth outpaced spending, the amount of money individuals save rose to 5.6% from 5.4% and matched a two-year high. Meanwhile, inflation as gauged by the PCE price index edged up 0.1% in September, as did the core rate that excludes food and energy. The PCE index has risen 1.4% in the past 12 months - the same as in August - but it could decline in the coming months because of lower energy prices.

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