2006 Personal Savings Rate Was at a 74-Year Low

Personal savings rate for all of 2006 declined to a negative 1%, lower than a negative 0.4% in 2005 and was the lowest since a negative 1.5% savings rate in 1933 during the Depression, according to data from the Commerce Department.

For December, consumer spending rose 0.7%, while personal income increased $60.6 billion or 0.5%.  Wages and salaries, which account for more than half of personal income, increased 0.6%. 

For December, the savings rate fell to a negative 1.2%, compared to a negative 1% in November. 

The personal savings rate has been negative for an entire year only four times in history -- in 2005 and 2006 and in 1933 and 1932, reports AP. 

Personal income increased 6.4% in 2006, compared with an increase of 5.2% in 2005. 

Other Key Economic Indicators:

The Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index fell below 50 to 49.3 in January, from 51.4 in December. ISM index below 50 indicates that manufacturing activity is contracting rather than expanding.

Initial jobless claims claims for unemployment benefits fell 20,000 last week to 307,000, according to the Labor Department. 

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