Consumers, whose spending helped fuel a strong economy in the third quarter, continued to drive the expansion last month despite rising interest rates and the first decline in incomes in 10 months.

The Commerce Department reported Friday that consumer spending rose 0.6 percent to $4.74 trillion, up from $4.71 trillion in October and the seventh straight advance.But the report showed that personal incomes slipped 0.1 percent, to $5.84 trillion from $5.85 trillion a month earlier. It was the first drop since incomes fell 0.6 percent last January.

Spending included a 1.7 percent increase for usually expensive durable goods, such as cars, that often are bought on credit.

Consumer spending accounts for about two-thirds of the nation's economic activity. It represented about half of the annualized 4 percent increase in the gross domestic product during the third quarter. The GDP is the total output of goods and services produced in the United States.

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Consumer demand for big-ticket items was reflected in part by a 3.4 percent increase in November in orders for durable goods, items ranging from cars to computers that are expected to last more than three years.

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