The numbers: Consumer spending rose a solid 0.4% in August, but the increase was exaggerated by higher gas prices that are pinching the budgets of U.S. households.
Analysts polled by the Wall Street Journal had forecast a 0.4% gain.
Spending rose a revised 0.9% in July, when Amazon
held its annual Prime Day sale. The sales event probably pulled forward some spending that normally would have taken place in August.
Consumer spending is the main engine of the U.S. economy. The rate of household spending slowed to a sluggish 0.8% annual pace in the second quarter from 3.8% in the first three months of the year. But spending picked back up again during the summer.