The Commerce Department reported an increase of 0.5 percent in consumer spending in November, the largest increase in four months. This followed a 0.4 percent increase in October.

The 0.5 percent advance in spending marked the largest increase since July. In November, spending on durable goods such as cars and appliances jumped by 1.5 percent, the biggest gain since August 2000. November's increase also marked a turnaround from the 1.4 percent decline in spending on durable goods recorded in October.

On nondurable goods such as food and clothing spending rose by 0.4 percent, down from a 0.8 percent increase in October. Spending on services went up 0.4 percent in November, following a 0.5 percent gain.