New York -- Improvements in housing and labor probably helped boost U.S. consumer spending last month. A Bloomberg survey of 59 economists in advance of the official Commerce Department July spending figures on Aug. 30 indicates purchases of goods and services increased 0.3% last month after a 0.5% increase in June.
The Bloomberg survey also predicts that consumers’ personal income grew 0.2% in July following a 0.3% increase the prior month. A separate Commerce Department report scheduled for release Aug. 27 is expected to show orders for big ticket items excluding transportation equipment grew 0.5% in July after a 0.1% decline in June. Looking at third quarter performance, Bloomberg estimates purchases will increase 2.2% and then rise 2.4% in the fourth quarter of 2013.
However, Bloomberg also expects the Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index and The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan final sentiment index both declined in July. Those reports are due later this week.