Americans' personal income dropped 0.1% from July to August, government data released Friday show. The decline is the first since October 2009. With less money coming in, Americans saved less, and the 4.5% personal savings rate is the lowest since December 2009. "All of this is happening in an economic environment with volatile equity markets, falling household assets, diminishing 401(k)s, high unemployment and depressed consumer confidence," wrote Chris G. Christopher Jr., senior principal economist at IHS Global Insight.
President Barack Obama will soon send Congress long-delayed free-trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea, a source said. The deal with South Korea could increase U.S. exports by as much as $10.9 billion in its first year, the U.S. International Trade Commission said.
Rental fleet company Beard Equipment has purchased three retailers of John Deere Construction and Forestry products in Florida. The dealerships are in Jacksonville, Palatka and Lake City, the company said. Deere & Co. Chairman and CEO Samuel Allen is scheduled to visit Beard Equipment this week.