WASHINGTON – Americans spent at a moderate pace last month, giving the economy a boost ahead of the holidays.
The government says consumers increased their spending 0.4 percent in November. The gain came after shoppers ratcheted up spending by 0.7 percent in October, the most since August 2009.
Even with the latest increases, consumers are still reluctant to go on the type of buying binges needed to dramatically lower the 9.8 percent unemployment rate.
Consumers' incomes grew 0.3 percent last month, helped by gains from fatter stock portfolios. Wages and salaries, however, barely budged. Incomes increased 0.4 percent in October, reflecting strong wage gains.