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Spending Barely Grew In October, But Income Growth Picked Up

The good news: Americans' personal income grew 0.4 percent in October from September, the Bureau of Economic Analysis says. It's the best gain in seven months and could mean consumers will have enough money in hand to make the critical holiday shopping season a pretty good one.

The not-so-good news: Consumers didn't spend all that much in October — there was just a 0.1 percent gain, BEA says. But it followed a strong 0.7 percent increase the month before. So the trend over the two months was OK.

Also this morning, the Employment and Training Administration said there were 393,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, up 2,000 from the week before.

And, the Census Bureau said orders for durable goods declined 0.7 percent in October from September. That had dropped 1.5 percent the month before.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.