In December, personal income climbed 0.5 percent, while disposable income rose 0.4 percent. New figures released today from the Commerce Department also show that consumer spending was flat, increasing 0.1 percent from the month before.
While the AP reports that rise in income was the most in nine months, the news is a mixed bag.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the consumer spending data means that Americans were cautious, saving instead of spending and that, in turn, means the economy will stay in "slow-growth mode" in 2012.
The Journal reports:
"Even as the holiday shopping season drew to a close, Americans boosted their savings in December at the fastest pace since August. The personal saving rate was 4.0% last month, compared to 3.5% in November.
"For the year, incomes and spending moved in tandem as each rose 4.7%, the data showed."