Incomes up strong 0.5 pct., consumer spending flat



WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans’ incomes rose last month by the most in nine months, a hopeful sign after a year of weak wage gains.

The Commerce Department says incomes rose 0.5 percent, the strongest increase since a similar gain in March. Consumer spending was unchanged, following weak gains of 0.1 percent in both October and November.

The income increase after paying taxes and adjusting for inflation was 0.3 percent in December. For the year, inflation-adjusted incomes rose 0.9 percent, just half the modest 1.8 percent rise in 2010.