Data released by the Commerce Department on Thursday morning showed that, despite lingering doubts over the economy, consumers were more willing to go shopping last month.
According to the government, consumer spending rose 0.4% in July. That matched economists’ expectations, Reuters noted.
Consumer spending had been flat in June.
Adjusting for inflation, consumers spending still rose 0.4% in July. That marked the largest monthly rise since February and provided a glimmer of hope that the economy might improve during the second half of the year.
It also reversed a 0.1% dip in real consumer spending in June.
With spending up, Americans saved less in July. The savings rate slipped from 4.3% in June, to 4.2% last month.
The government noted that household income rose 0.3% in July. Adjusting for inflation, household income also increased 0.3%, topping a 0.2% gain in June.
Earlier this month, the Commerce Department announced that retail sales had risen 0.8% in July, topping economists who had predicted just a 0.3% increase in sales, and reversing June’s 0.5% decline. Electronics and automobile sales rose strongly during the month, according to the government.