Americans' personal income rose 0.6 percent in October, the Commerce Department reported yesterday, and increasingly upbeat workers continued to spend freely for the seventh month in a row.
The amount of money they took in, which was generally in line with Wall Street estimates, outstripped spending, allowing consumers to sock away funds into savings.
The increase in personal income, a key element in the ability of consumers to help fuel the strengthening economic recovery, followed a revised 0.1 percent increase in September and brought the seasonally adjusted annual rate to $5.47 trillion.
Consumer spending, the report said, rose 0.8 percent in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $4.47 trillion. It said Americans saved $177 billion in the month, after $185 billion in September.
The new data follows indications this week that Americans are beginning to feel better about the economy.
The Conference Board, a private business group, reported that consumer confidence soared in November, with a dramatic 11-point jump in the monthly measure of Americans' economic optimism.