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SPENDING OUTPACES INCOME

Consumer spending shot up 1.1 percent in April, the biggest advance in nearly a year, outpacing a 0.4 percent increase in personal income, the government reported today.

The combination of a strong spending increase and the sluggish income gain produced a sharp reduction in the personal savings rate, which dropped to 5.3 percent last month from a three-year high of 6.3 percent during the previous month, the Commerce Department said.

The April increase in personal income was the smallest gain since income fell 0.2 percent last November. Personal income had risen a strong 0.8 percent in March and 1.0 percent in February.

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