Incomes boost for US hopes

Consumer growth could hold the key to a US recovery, a survey showed yesterday. Personal incomes were up 0.5 per cent in October according to the Personal Income and Outlays report compiled by the US Bureau of Economic Analysis. “Growth in personal income is increasingly being driven by wages and salaries, rather than government transfers,” said Peter Newland of Barclays Capital Research. And unemployment benefit claims are down, falling by 34,000 during the week ending 20 November, according to another report.

Yet the news was hampered by less positive signs for US growth. Durable goods production fell, as economists expected, while house prices suffered another drop. New home sales fell by 8.1 per cent in October, according to government figures.