By MARTIN CRUTSINGER, AP Economics Writer1 hour, 15 minutes ago
Personal incomes plunged in July while consumer spending slowed significantly as the impact of billions of dollars in government rebate checks began to wane.
The Commerce Department reported Friday that personal incomes fell by 0.7 percent in July, the biggest drop in nearly three years and a far larger decline than the 0.1 percent decrease analysts expected.
Consumer spending edged up a modest 0.2 percent, in line with expectations, but far below June's 0.6 percent rise. When the impact of rising prices was factored in, spending actually dropped by 0.4 percent in July, the weakest showing for inflation-adjusted spending in more than four years.