Consumer spending rises, even as jobless claims jump


Economic data is sending some mixed signals today: consumer spending surged in August even as jobless claims rose last week.

Jobless claims rose 17,000 to 551,000 for the week ending September 26, the U.S. Labor Department announced Thursday. Meanwhile, the Commerce Department reports that both consumer personal income and consumer spending rose in August, personal income inched 0.2 percent higher, while real (inflation-adjusted) consumer spending, aided by the federal government's cash-for-clunkers auto rebate program, jumped 0.9 percent; nominal consumer spending surged 1.3 percent.