WASHINGTON -- Two economic reports delivered welcome news Fridayas the government reported that consumers spent and earned more inNovember, and durable goods orders rose in November.
The CommerceDepartment said consumer spending rose 0.4% compared with October.Personal income jumped 0.6%, the biggest gain in 11 months.
Wagesand salaries rose $41.1 billion in November. Sandy had reduced wages atan annual rate of $18.2 billion in October. Spending had fallen 0.1% inOctober compared with September.
With income rising faster than spending, the saving rate rose to 3.6% of income in November, up from 3.4% in October.
Economistsremain concerned that income growth is too weak to support sustainedincreases in spending, especially at a time when Americans are worriedabout possible tax increases in the new year.
The second reportsaid companies increased their orders for long-lasting manufacturedgoods in November, with a second consecutive monthly gain in a keycategory that reflects business investment plans.
The CommerceDepartment said orders for durable goods rose a seasonally adjusted 0.7%in November from October, when orders rose 1.1%.
Orders for corecapital goods - considered a proxy for business investment - were up2.7% in November after a revised 3.2% gain in October, which was thebiggest increase in 10 months.
The two big gains came after aperiod of weakness in this category had raised concerns about flaggingbusiness investment, a driving force in this recovery.
The gains were widespread in November, with only demand for commercial aircraft showing a big decline.