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Personal income jumps in September; consumer spending growth slows

WASHINGTON -- Americans' income jumped more than expected in September, but that didn't help boost their spending as consumers shifted more money into savings, the Commerce Department said Friday.

Personal income increased 0.5% in September from the previous month. It was the second-straight month of growth at that rate, which has been the best pace since February.

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Despite having more money in their wallets, consumers didn't open them more in September. Consumer spending increased 0.2%, down from the 0.3% rate in August.

Instead, people saved more money, possibly reflecting concerns about the government shutdown that was looming in October. The 16-day closure of many federal offices led to a delay in the release of the September personal income report.

The personal savings rate rose to 4.9% in September, from 4.7% the previous month. It was the highest rate of the year, though still historically low.

The slower growth in consumer spending helped keep inflation in check. The so-called core rate over the previous year held at 1.2% in September, well below the Federal Reserve's target of 2%.

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