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Personal Income, Factory Orders Increase in October

November 26, 1987|From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — A surge in farm-subsidy payments helped drive Americans' personal incomes up 1.7% during October, the government reported Wednesday.

The 1.7% figure matched the monthly advance in July, 1981 which was the largest since a 2.5% gain in June, 1975.

The Commerce Department said the rise in personal incomes resulted in a big advance in the personal savings rate as Americans saved the extra wealth instead of spending it. Consumer spending in October was flat as auto sales fell for the second consecutive month.

The Commerce Department also reported a 0.3% rise in orders to U.S. factories for durable goods, a moderate advance propelled by a sharp jump in aircraft orders. It followed an even bigger 2.4% surge in orders in September. Analysts said the gains showed rising overseas demand for American products.

In addition, the National Assn. of Realtors reported sales of existing homes climbed 3.2% in October, the best showing since May. The boost came although mortgage rates were rising sharply in the first half of the month and the stock market fell in the last part of October.

In Santa Barbara, White House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater said the durable goods report showed "the future remains very bright in terms of manufacturing production." He called the personal income report "good news," and said there is reason for optimism "on both fronts." President Reagan is in California for Thanksgiving.

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