WASHINGTON — U.S. January personal income increased 0.3% as personal consumption expenditures rose 0.4% and core PCE prices grew 0.3% for a 2.2% gain over the year, headlines t hat were slightly better than expected on a multitude of special factors and masked underlying weakness.

January real PCE was flat, indicating that growth is very slow. January real PCE stands merely up 0.5% above the fourth quarter average, confirming the slowing consumer sector.

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