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A boost in personal income and a strong rise in consumer spending in the United States may indicate that the slowdown in the economy in recent months was only a temporary phase.

The Commerce Department reported Thursday that personal income rose 0.9 percent in September and consumer spending, after showing no gains for two months, shot up 1.4 percent. The drop in consumer spending during the summer months was seen by many as evidence of an economic slowdown.

These figures are the last data that go into the third-quarter gross national product report, due out today. On balance, slowing tendencies earlier in the quarter and more recent strength could translate into modest growth.

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