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Americans Made More and Spent Less — but Is the Economy Really Better?

Photo Credit: Getty Images

People spent less and made more in December than November, and personal income grew nearly 4 percent in 2014.

But it's hardly all good news.

Personal income rose 0.3 percent ($41.3 billion) in December while personal consumption spending fell by the same percentage ($40 billion), leaving Americans bringing in 3.9 percent more in 2014 than the year prior, according to Commerce Department figures released Monday.

Photo Credit: Getty Images Getty Images

While 2014's increase outstrips the 2 percent bump in 2013, Americans are hardly recovered from the Great Recession.

The typical household's income is still below pre-recession levels, and one out of every five American kids relies on food stamps to eat.

Still, the combination of rising incomes and healthy home purchasing figures could signal a moderately rosy outlook for 2015.

More from the Monday economic report:

• Wages and salaries rose $6.9 billion in December, compared to a $42.2 billion November increase.

• While private wages and salaries increased $4.9 billion in December, compared with an increase of $40.6 billion the month prior, government wages and salaries increased more in December than November — $1.9 billion, compared with $1.7 billion.

• Americans saved less than 5 percent of their disposable income in December.

Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter

One last thing…
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