WASHINGTON — U.S. consumers and businesses spent cautiously last month, a sign that strong growth during the spring and summer may decelerate in the last quarter of 2014.

The figures released Wednesday were a mild disappointment after data the previous day showed the economy had expanded at the fastest pace in over a decade in the second and third quarters.

“The economy is poised to slow again as we move into the fourth quarter, after a stellar catch-up from last year’s horrific winter weather,” Diane Swonk, an economist at Mesirow Financial, said in a note to clients.

Consumers opened their wallets a bit in October, boosting their spending by a lukewarm 0.2 percent. That was only slightly better than September’s flat reading.

Yet incomes also rose just 0.2 percent, matching September’s increase. Because hiring has been healthy this year, many economists have been expecting a stronger pickup in income.

Businesses also cut back on orders for industrial machinery, computers and other equipment, a sign that business investment spending may slow in the October-December quarter. Factories received fewer orders for the second straight month.

Paul Ashworth, an economist at Capital Economics, said he expects the economy will expand at a 2.5 percent annual rate in the fourth quarter, down from an earlier forecast of 3 percent.

While that figure would represent modest progress, it’s much lower than the third quarter’s 3.9 percent expansion and the second quarter’s 4.6 percent. The two quarters represent the best six-month pace since 2003.