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With profits lingering near record levels set earlier in the otherwise lackluster recovery, investors are getting what has historically been a disproportionately large share of the national income pie, while workers’ share has been shrinking.

Profits are soaring, but average wages, after adjusting for inflation, haven’t grown at all since the last economic expansion in 2007, leaving most consumers with little earning power to increase spending on Christmas gifts. Reflecting the weak income growth, consumer spending increased in the summer quarter at a tepid 1.4 percent annual rate.

The federal budget cuts also are holding back some consumers, according to a recent survey of the nation’s military personnel. First Command, a financial planning service for service members, said military families plan to cut their Christmas spending nearly in half to $769 on average this year from $1,439 last year. Soldiers surveyed said they feared Congress will impose further defense downsizing and furloughs in 2014.