WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumers increased their spending slightly last month as their income grew at the fastest pace in six months. The figures point to only modest economic growth in the July-September quarter.

Consumers’ spending on goods and services rose 0.3% in August, the Commerce Department said Friday. That’s up from a 0.2% gain in July, which was slightly more than the 0.1% reported last month.

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Income rose 0.4% in August, the best gain since February and up from a 0.2% July increase. Private wages and salaries rose 0.5%, while the government wages and salaries rose 0.2%.

The government figures would have been higher if not for forced federal furloughs that reduced wages and salaries by $7.3 billion.

Consumer spending drives 70% of economic activity. Many analysts say the increases are not enough to accelerate economic growth in the third quarter from the 2.5% annual rate in the April-June quarter.

“With more money coming in, consumers spent a little, just a little, more freely,” said Jennifer Lee, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets.

Paul Ashworth predicts the economy is growing at an annual rate of 2% to 2.5% in the July-September quarter. Still, the pickup in August could signal stronger growth in the final three months of the year.

Other economists are less hopeful. Peter Newland, an economist at Barclays, said that the modest increase did not change Barclay’s forecast for growth at a 1.7% rate.

Americans saved some of the extra money they earned last month. The personal savings rate edged up to 4.6% of after-tax income, a slight improvement from 4.5% in July.

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