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News Summary: Gas costs drive up consumer spending

Friday - 9/28/2012, 12:36pm  ET

By The Associated Press

(AP) - SPENDING UP: Americans boosted spending 0.5 percent in August even though their income barely grew, the Commerce Department said Friday. Much of the increase went to pay higher gas prices, which rose nearly 50 cents per gallon in July and August.

WEAK INCOME: Income ticked up 0.1 percent. After accounting for inflation and taxes, income actually fell 0.3 percent, the poorest performance since November.

OUTLOOK: High unemployment and weak pay increases have kept Americans from spending more freely. That may hold back growth in the second half of the year. Consumer spending drives nearly 70 percent of economic activity.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)