More Evidence of Slowdown in August Data

From Times Wire Services

New signs of economic sluggishness emerged Wednesday as the Commerce Department reported that durable goods fell 0.8% in August and that consumer spending rose 0.5% last month.

Durable goods are items designed to last more than three years.

A few bright spots appeared in the weak durable goods report, such as defense orders, which steamed ahead as the U.S. committed its forces to the Persian Gulf.

But the overall picture shows a slowing economy teetering on the edge of recession, with higher oil prices soaking up what little spending power there is, economists said.

The Commerce Department also reported that U.S. incomes inched up 0.3% in August--the smallest rise in four months.

PERSONAL INCOME

Trillions of dollars, seasonally adjusted:

Aug, '90: 4.68

July, '90: 4.66

Aug, '89: 4.40

Source: Commerce Department

PERSONAL SPENDING

Trillions of dollars, seasonally adjusted:

Aug, '90: 3.69

July, '90: 3.67

Aug, '89: 3.49

Source: Commerce Department

DURABLE GOODS ORDERS

Billions of dollars, seasonally adjusted:

Aug, '90: 127.0

July, '90: 128.0

Aug, '89: 126.8

Source: Commerce Department

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