Consumer spending edges up

Consumer spending in June rose by the smallest amount in four months as shoppers cut back on purchases of cars and other big-ticket items.

The Commerce Department says consumer spending edged up 0.2 percent in June, the poorest showing since a similar increase in February.

The modest advance followed a sharp 0.7 percent rise in spending in May. The increase had been driven by heavy spending on autos. But in June, auto sales slowed.

Overall purchases of durable goods, the category that covers autos, fell 1.3 percent in June.

Personal income rose 0.4 percent for a third straight month, reflecting strong employment gains.

Economists believe steady employment gains will boost consumer spending and drive faster economic growth in the second half of this year.

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