Americans’ incomes went up faster than their spending did last month, the first time that’s happened since October. With the extra cash in their pockets, consumers are expected to spend briskly in the months ahead, economists said. Personal income, which includes wages, interest and government benefits, increased by a sizable 0.7% in January, the Commerce Department said. A number of factors boosted income, including cost-of-living adjustments to Social Security payments and other government benefits programs, pay raises for federal workers and military personnel and federal subsidy payments to farmers, the government said. But even with those factors excluded, incomes grew by 0.6%. Spending rose by a brisk 0.5% last month.
Income Gain Outpaces Spending in January