In this July 18, 2014 photo, Dawn Heigl, a waitress at The Harp, serves food at the restaurant in Wilmington, N.C. The Commerce Department reports how much U.S. consumers spent and earned in June on Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/The Star-News, Matt Born)
WASHINGTON — U.S. consumer spending rose at the fastest pace in three months in June, providing momentum for the economy going into the second half of the year.
The Commerce Department says consumer spending increased 0.4 percent in June following slower increases of 0.3 percent in May and 0.1 percent in April. It was the best showing since a 0.8 percent surge in spending in March, which reflected a rebound after a harsh winter had kept consumers from the malls and auto showrooms. Consumer spending is closely watched because it accounts for two-thirds of economic activity.
Americans saw earnings rise 0.4 percent in June, matching the May increase. Income growth has lagged in this recovery but has shown recent signs of some acceleration.