Americans’ incomes fell in August by the most in three months after the government’s supplemental unemployment benefits expired, threatening to temper consumer spending that increased during the month.
The 2.7% decrease in personal income followed an upwardly revised 0.5% gain a month earlier, according to Commerce Department data released Thursday. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for a 2.5% drop in August. Consumer spending on goods and services increased 1% from the prior month after a downwardly revised 1.5% gain in July.
The decline in income highlights the impact of the expiration of the extra $600 in weekly jobless benefits at the end of July, which had temporarily propped up household finances and helped spur consumption. While President Donald Trump in early August announced an additional $300 a week in federal jobless benefits, many states didn’t get those funds out until early September, and the benefit