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US Consumer Spending Flat in August as Auto Purchases Drop

FILE - A sales manager at a Honda car dealership opens the hood of a Honda CRV SUV in Tempe, Arizona, Dec. 2, 2014.

U.S. consumer spending in August turned in the weakest performance in five months, reflecting a drop in spending on autos. Income growth also slowed in August as wages and salary gains were smaller following four strong months.

The Commerce Department says that consumer spending was unchanged last month after solid gains of 0.4 percent in July and 0.3 percent in June. It was the poorest showing since a flat reading in March.

Personal incomes rose 0.2 percent last month, just half the gain in July. It was the weakest income performance since a 0.1 percent drop in February. Wages and salaries, the biggest income category, were up just 0.1 percent after two months of 0.5 percent increases.

The August spending slowdown is expected to be temporary.