Consumers returned to the malls in July after taking a breather in June, although worries about the future could make the rebound short-lived.
The Commerce Department reported Friday that consumer spending rose by 0.4 percent in July, double the June increase. The spending was supported by a solid 0.5 percent rise in incomes, the best showing in this area in four months.
The gain in spending was right in line with expectations, while the increase in incomes was double what analysts had expected. However, economists cautioned that the July increases could be temporary given recent weakness in consumer confidence caused by a prolonged slump in housing and the past several weeks of financial market turbulence.