Americans' personal income increased by 1.3 per cent in October, the largest rise in seven months and a favorable sign for future consumer spending, the Commerce Department said yesterday.
The October increase followed a 0.8 per cent in September and 0.6 per cent in August and was the largest since March's 1.5 per cent rise.
The $22.2 billion increase last month put total personal income for the month at $1,580.9 trillion, seasonally adjusted.
Private wages and salaries increased $10.1 billion in October after rising $6.7 billion in September.
A 7 per cent federal pay increase that took effect Oct. 1 added to a $4.2 billion rise in overall government wage and salaries, compared with $1.5 billion in September. The raises for federal civillian and military personnel accounted for $2.8 billion of the boost.
Manufacturing payrolls rose $3.8 billion in October, after rising $1.8 billion in September. About two thirds of this increase was accounted for by an increase in average hourly earnings from $5.36 to $5.41 per hour. Employment also increased, and the average work week rose from 36.0 to 36.1 hours.
Payrolls in the durable goods industries, with transportation equipment, electrical and nonelectrical machinery and fabricated and primary metals showing the biggest gains.
The Commerce Department said payrolls in commodity producing industries rose $5.4 billion, after a $3.4 billion increase in September. Distributive industry payrolls and service industry payrolls also increased, as did farm proprietors' income, transfer payments and other nonwage income.
The favorable figures followed by a day a report by the Federal Reserve Board showing continued sluggish activity among factories, mines and utilities, with industrial output rising only 0.3 per cnet in October.