WASHINGTON (AP) - Consumer spending edged up in July with help from the popular Cash for Clunkers program, but household incomes, the fuel for future spending increases, were flat.
The Commerce Department says consumer spending rose 0.2 percent in July, matching economists' expectations. Personal incomes were unchanged last month, a weaker showing than the expected 0.2 percent gain.
Consumer spending is the big question mark as the economy struggles to emerge from recession. Economists worry that households hurt by rising unemployment, weak income growth and depleted investments will not provide the support the economy needs to rebound to sustained growth.