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Dec. consumer spending up 0.7%, income up 0.4%

Dec. consumer spending up 0.7%, income up 0.4% (by Greg Robb)

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) --- Consumer spending increased a seasonally adjusted 0.7% in December, above expectation and a sign the economy entered the first quarter with momentum, the Commerce Department estimated Monday. Income rose 0.4% in December for the second straight month. Consumer spending has risen in six straight months. Wall Street economists had expected a 0.4% increase in income and a 0.6% gain in spending. With spending outpacing income, the savings rate fell to 5.3% in December from 5.5% in November. This is the lowest level since last March.