US consumer spending posts slower growth in July

WASHINGTON (AP) — American consumers boosted spending at a slower pace in July, while their incomes accelerated slightly.

The Commerce Department says spending grew 0.3 percent in July following a 0.5 percent increase in June. The slowdown had been expected given an earlier report that retail sales were flat in July. Incomes grew 0.4 percent in July, up from a 0.3 percent increase in June.

Economists are counting on solid gains in consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of economic activity, to power overall growth in the second half of the year.

The deceleration in July is likely to be followed by stronger spending increases in coming months. For July, spending on durable goods such as autos rose by a solid 1.6 percent, but spending for nondurable goods fell.