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Consumer spending up 0.8% in July

Aug 29, 2011 10:29:00 PM - thestate.com
Consumer spending grew in July by 0.8 percent, the largest amount in five months. That followed a decline in June and helped ease fears that the economy is on the verge of another recession.

Americans bought more cars and spent more last month to cool their homes during a heat wave.

Personal incomes increased 0.3 percent last month, the Commerce Department said. That’s slightly higher than the modest 0.2 percent in June, the weakest growth in seven months.

The first look at spending in the second half of the year helped give Wall Street a lift. The Dow Jones industrial average closed up more than 254 points Monday. The rise in spending added to positive reports that Hurricane Irene didn’t do as much damage as feared.

Economists said the spending report was a sign that the economy rebounded in July after growing at an annual rate of just 0.7 percent in the first half of the year – the slowest since the recession officially ended two years ago.

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