U.S. personal income advanced 0.3 percent in August in the weakest showing since an increase of 0.2 percent in April, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday.

Private economists expected a gain of 0.4 percent last month following increases of 0.5 percent in July and 0.4 percent in June.The department's Bureau of Economic Analysis said the August increase in personal income totaled about $13 billion for an annual rate of just under $4.68 billion, adjusted for seasonal factors.

The national savings rate dropped to 4.3 percent in August - in the wake of the Iraq crisis and higher oil prices - from 4.5 percent in July and 4.6 percent in June, according to the government data.

Total wages and salaries increased $700 million last month after an advance of $16.2 billion in July.

The Commerce Department also reported that personal consumption, or consumer spending, was up only 0.5 percent in August - in the smallest monthly gain since remaining unchanged in May.