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Trends: U.S. Consumer Spending Up Slightly in October

Americans increased their spending in October at the fastest rate in three months, even though income growth was essentially flat, its weakest showing in 13 months, according to the Associated Press.

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that consumer spending rose 0.3 percent last month, the best gain since a 0.5 percent rise in July.

An inflation gauge that is tied to spending edged up a modest 0.2 percent and is just 1.3 percent higher over the past 12 months, well below the Federal Reserve’s 2 percent annual target level for inflation, according to the Associated Press.

The October spending increase adds to evidence that consumers will likely do their part this quarter to offset a drag from businesses cutting back on investment plans because of the ongoing U.S.-China trade war. The holiday shopping season is expected to be a solid one: The National Retail Federation has forecast that holiday sales will rise between 3.8 percent and 4.2 percent, a sharp increase from last year.

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