Consumer spending slowed to its lowest rate since late last summer, the Commerce Department reporting this morning (July 31), and personal income, considered a key indicator of inflation, was up 0.4%, well below the Federal Reserve's target range.

The numbers suggested a slowdown in consumer spending, which fell from a revised 0.6% rate of growth in May, which could portend a similar slowdown in the economy. Meanwhile, the personal income number, which stayed even with May, suggested that core inflation may be in check.

The June numbers are based on more complete data than other months because the Commerce Department issues its annual revisions going back three years in the July report.

Disposable income also increased 0.4% in June, also even with the May number.