The American economic recovery came perilously close to falling off a cliff at the end of last year. But government aid arrived just in time to prevent a disaster — and possibly paved the way for a dynamic rebound.
Personal income surged a remarkable 10 percent in January, the Commerce Department reported on Friday. Spending increased last month, too, by a healthy 2.4 percent, largely fueled by a rise in purchases of goods.
The report was the latest sign of the economy’s slow but steady march forward after a series of setbacks.
Yet the data also underscored the extent