INCOMES DOWN: Americans earned 0.1 percent less in August, the first decline in nearly two years. Zero job growth, along with slight declines in the hours worked and average hourly earnings, lowered salaries and wages.
SPENDING UP: Consumers spent more last month. But most of the 0.2 percent increase went to pay higher prices for basic necessities, such as food and clothing. And their savings rate fell last month to its lowest level since December 2009.
OUTLOOK: With less income, consumers could cut back on spending and weaken an already-fragile economy. Consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of growth.