Household purchases, which account for 70% of the economy, were unchanged last month after a 0.1% decline in May, according to a Commerce Department report released Tuesday.
Incomes climbed 0.5%, lifting the savings rate to 4.4%, the highest in a year. Americans may be growing less pessimistic about job prospects later in the year, with another report Tuesday showing consumer confidence rose unexpectedly for the first time in five months.
The June results indicate the consumer was losing steam as the quarter drew to a close. Household spending rose 1.5% from April through June, the slowest pace in a year, according to government data last week. Gross domestic product also climbed at a 1.5% annual rate, cooling from a 2% pace in the prior three months.
The Conference Board’s index of consumer confidence increased to 65.9 in July from 62.7 in June. The report showed a gain in the share of consumers anticipating better labor and economic conditions in six months. A pickup in the housing market and decreases in fuel prices may also be helping sustain consumer sentiment.
“Despite this month’s improvement in confidence, the overall index remains at historically low levels,” Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at the Conference Board, said in a statement.
The confidence figures contrast other data on consumer sentiment. The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell in the week ended July 22 to minus 38.5, the lowest level in two months. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan final July index of consumer sentiment was the weakest this year.
The Conference Board’s measure of present conditions decreased to 46.2 from 46.6 in June. The measure of expectations for the next six months increased to 79.1 from 73.4 in June.
The percent of respondents expecting more jobs to become available in the next six months rose to 17.6 from 14.8 the previous month. The share of consumers who said jobs are currently plentiful fell to 7.8% from 8.3%. Those who said jobs weren’t plentiful rose to 51.4% from 50.5%.