(MENAFN - Saudi Press Agency) Consumer spending, the key driver of the U.S. economy, fell in October, while incomes were flat, partly reflecting disruptions from superstorm Sandy that could limit economic growth in the final months of the year, the government reported Friday.
The Commerce Department said consumer spending - which accounts for 70 percent of U.S. economic activity - fell 0.2 percent last month, following a 0.8 percent gain in September. Income was flat in October after rising for five consecutive months.
Work interruptions caused by Sandy reduced wages and salaries by about 18 billion at an annual rate. The storm affected 24 states, with the most severe damage in New Jersey and New York.
Inflation remains under control. An inflation index tied to consumer spending rose 0.1 percent in October, following a 0.3 percent increase the previous month. Excluding volatile energy and food costs, the 'core' inflation gauge rose 0.1 percent, the same as in September.