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Income Falls, Spending Rises

Posted on April 7, 2015

Bad news for most Americans: Yellen’s recovery isn’t working.

Most Americans’ incomes continued to fall last year, but the richest 20 percent saw theirs rise, a new Labor Department report showed Thursday.

In fresh data that adds fire to a growing debate over income inequality, the department said that Americans on average saw income decline for the second straight year in the 12 months to June 2014.

The average pre-tax income fell 0.9 percent from the same period a year earlier, to $64,432.

But broken down into quintiles, those in the top 20 percent of incomes saw their money stream grow by 0.9 percent to $166,048 on average.

Every other group lost ground, with the bottom 20 percent losing the most: their average income dropped 3.5 percent to $9,818. . . .

While the majority of incomes fell, consumer spending, which accounts for about two-thirds of US economic activity, rose 1.0 percent on average.

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