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Statement from U.S. Commerce Department Chief Economist Mark Doms on Personal Income and Outlays in January 2011

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, February 28, 2011
CONTACT OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS
202-482-4883

The U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis today released data on personal income and outlays for January 2011. Personal income increased 1.0 percent in January, exceeding private-sector expectations of a 0.4-percent rise. Wages and salaries, the largest component of income, rose 0.3 percent, perhaps hampered by more severe than usual weather in some parts of the country. Real consumer spending edged down 0.1 percent in January but has already risen 0.8 percent at an annual rate above its fourth-quarter average.

“Personal income surged in January, largely as a result of the Middle Class Tax Relief Act that the President signed in December,” said U.S. Commerce Department Chief Economist Mark Doms. “By lowering employee contributions for social security, workers have more take-home pay. This increased spending capacity should boost the U.S. economy and employment in 2011."