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US personal income posts biggest gain in eight years

Published on Jan 31, 2013 9:44 PM

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - American incomes rose in December by the most in eight years, a positive sign for consumer spending that could help the economy sustain momentum early this year.

Personal income for Americans rose 2.6 per cent last month, the Commerce Department said on Thursday. That was the biggest increase since December 2004 and well above analysts' expectations for a 0.8 per cent gain.

Personal income rose in November and December, the Commerce Department said, because of special dividends and accelerated bonuses to beat increases in taxes this year.

The big rise in incomes suggests total consumer spending power entered the new year on stronger footing, even though much of the gains may not have been distributed evenly throughout the workforce.

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